“Why is Guan Eng determined as hell to pay Gamuda RM6.2 billion? Why is Anwar particularly interested in the Penang LRT project and the plight of Penang fishermen who disagree with plans to reclaim three islands off the island-state’s southern coast? According to Chow, the reclamation is meant to help finance the DAP’s RM46 billion PTMP venture. Could it be that Gamuda entered a pact with Anwar and Guan Eng on the need for the GoM to purchase its highway concessionaires?
Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said today that the state government would look into 30 conditions set by the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) for its proposed Light-Rail Transit (LRT) project. Speaking to reporters following an event, Chow added that his government obtained an official letter from the transportation agency listing conditions that needed adhering to before the project could go on.
“The onus is now on the state government to look into these conditions and take appropriate action to meet APAD’s requirements. We also want to announce the three-month public inspection period required by the agency which is to start from August 19,” he said.
A report by the Malay Mail Online read:
Chow said with the public inspection, the state government hoped the public would take the opportunity to review the rail transit project during the public inspection period.
“The place and location of the public inspections will be discussed and we will hold a press conference to announce the locations so that the public will be able to obtain information particularly on the alignment and location of stations and related information.
“In addition, the public can also provide feedback, support and criticisms or any other objections to the issues raised and we will include what they have provided in the feedback form,” he said.
Now, why on earth did Chow need to make the announcement in Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s presence? Not only is Anwar an outsider, he holds no post in APAD or the Federal Cabinet and had no business mediating terms with the Penang state government. Was his presence so important that Chow had to hold a PC without having relevant members of his own government participate?
The LRT project is part and parcel of the broader Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) initiative that will see a series of highways, light rail transit lines and other modes of transport built in a span of 20 to 30 years. Per plans, the PTMP will be carried out by SRS Consortium Sdn Bhd, a joint venture between Gamuda Bhd and Penang real estate development firms Loh Phoy Yen Holdings Sdn Bhd and Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd.
It is a little more than a coincidence that Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng bypassed the Federal Cabinet when announcing a ‘conditional’ bid by the Government of Malaysia (GoM) to take over four tolled highway concessions Gamuda has interests in. The bid, said to be worth RM6.2 billion, was purportedly to acquire Gamuda’s 44% stake in Litrak (the operator of LDP), 52% in Sprint, 70% in Kesas and 50% in Smart (Tunnel). Five days later, on the 28thof June 2019, Gamuda’s board voted to accept the so-called offer despite knowing that the offer was never actually made.
Almost as soon as Guan Eng announced the ‘take over’, Works Minister Baru Bian clarified that the GoM would only move once the Cabinet made a decision. Actually, the clarification was meant to be a subtle hint to Guan Eng to shut up and toe the line. But when the Minister of Finance kept going on and on about the benefits of purchasing the concessionaires, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad stepped in and rubbished the claim by making it absolutely clear that the GoM never decided anything on Gamuda.
Question is, why is Guan Eng determined as hell to pay Gamuda RM6.2 billion? Why is Anwar particularly interested in the Penang LRT project and the plight of Penang fishermen who disagree with plans to reclaim three islands off the island-state’s southern coast? According to Chow, the reclamation is meant to help finance the DAP’s RM46 billion PTMP venture. Could it be that Gamuda entered a pact with Anwar and Guan Eng on the need for the GoM to purchase its highway concessionaires? Could the pact have anything to do with the three islands which the Penang state government has confirmed will be auctioned off?
On the 26thof February 2019, TTF posted:
Mahathir is talking about toll subsidy.
When he said the government needed to pay concessionaires using taxpayer money, he meant to say that the “government needed to pay the government using taxpayer money.”
The concessionaires are going to be government owned once Putrajaya completes talks with Gamuda. There isn’t a cat-in-hells chance the negotiations will fall through given that Raja Dato’ Seri Eleena Raja Azlan Shah has a majority stake in Gamuda.
For the record, Eleena is the younger sister of Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah and Forbes’ 40 Richest Malaysians’ top ten entrée.
Question is, has Anwar entered a quid pro quo of sorts with Raja Eleena, and is he hoping to ‘buy’ the support of Sultan Nazrin Shah by siding with the DAP on various PTMP initiatives so that the GoM can be ‘forced’ to pay Gamuda RM6.2 billion?
To be continued…