Guan Eng: Electoral sweep proves people support tunnel project
Penang chief minister accuses Barisan Nasional of taking revenge for its âdisastrous electoral outingâ in the last polls by trying to sabotage project.
GEORGE TOWN: Lim Guan Eng today continued his defence of Penangâs RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel-main roads project against allegations of impropriety.
He said the electoral victory of the DAP and its allies showed the people endorsed the state government.
The Penang chief minister and DAP secretary-general claimed the project was presented to the electorate on the eve of the election in May 2013 to allow them to decide whether they supported the initiative.
He said it was to give them the option of endorsing the project or voting out the coalition, the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat, comprising DAP, PKR and PAS.
âThe overwhelming victory by Pakatan where MCA, Gerakan and MIC lost all their seats clearly showed the endorsement of the people for this bold initiative to mitigate traffic congestion in Penang,â he said in a statement.
He claimed that Minister in the Prime Ministerâs Department Wee Ka Siong and Barisan Nasional (BN) were now taking revenge for the âdisastrous electoral outingâ by trying to sabotage the project with distortions or outright lies.
Lim said although Wee had pointed out that the projectâs special purpose vehicle (SPV) Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd was in financial distress when it was awarded the contract in 2013, it had not suffered bankruptcy till today.
âWhile we cannot answer on behalf of the company, the Penang tender committee headed by the Penang state secretary made the right decision then because until today, five years later, this so-called â financially-distressed companyâ is still progressing and has not gone bankrupt,â he said.
Wee, who is MCA deputy president, had recently pointed out apparent inconsistencies and anomalies in the project, resulting in both leaders trading accusations, with each trying to âeducateâ the other.
The debate has mostly been on issues surrounding shareholding, âmisrepresentationâ of the SPVâs paid-up capital, and legality of an agreement signed with main contractor China Railway Construction Corporation(CRCC).
The infrastructure project came under renewed scrutiny following a fresh probe and arrests by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) last month.
The 7.2km undersea tunnel will connect George Townâs Pangkor Road on the island and Bagan Ajam in Butterworth on the mainland. It was scheduled to begin in 2023.
The âthree main roadsâ (formerly referred to as the three paired roads) stretch from Air Itam to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (5.7km), Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang (10.53km), and Jalan Pangkor-Gurney Drive junction to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (4.1km).
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Source: Google News