“I propose that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin establishes a Special Task Force comprising representatives from the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), the MACC, the Attornery-General’s Chambers (AGC) and other relevant authorities to conduct an in-depth probe into all these allegations”
Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
بكو اكاءون بڠك ليم ڬوان اڠ، فايل سامن لوچوت حق
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission should reopen investigations into the RM6.3 billion Penang Undersea Tunnel and three-paired roads project to discover if former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had abused his power while serving as Chief Minister of Penang.
The project, wrought with ambiguity, was said to have been a smokescreen that Guan Eng billowed from his former office in Komtar to conceal a massive land swap scam deal involving millions in kickbacks promised to politicians, consultants and shareholders from Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (Zenith), the holdings company overlooking the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) awarded the project.
It was alleged that the guys from the Penang Chinese Chambers of Commerce (PCCC) were complicit with Guan Eng and a list of crony-consultants in a scheme to reap benefits from the wanton sale – or rather, ‘donation’ – of state land.
On the 11thof February 2018, I wrote:
“Imagine, you guys awarded the massive undertaking to a conglomerate that barely had the means to service its obligations to China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC).
“Then, for no apparent rhyme or reason, you bundled together 34 other consultants before sticking a hefty RM304.9 million tag for “feasibility studies and design works.”
“When asked, you insisted that the tag was justified and not as insanely exorbitant as claimed by various quarters.
It was later disclosed that CRCC was issued a contract worth US$22mil (approximately RM69mil then) to undertake the detailed design work for the 3 roads and tunnel.
The sum was payment for the largest scope of reports worth RM305mil that the Penang state government pledged to pay the Tunnel SPV for.
But if that was the largest scope, then what the heck was the scope of work that required the state government to commit an extra RM236 million?
To produce more pieces of paper?
Or did the consultants involved serve as mediums through which Lim, the guys from Zenith and the PCCC arranged kickbacks for themselves?
According to MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, CRCC was forced to stop work as they received only “5% (or a little over RM3mil) in payment from their RM69mil contract ever since the tunnel project was awarded.”
Yet, on the 22nd of May 2017, Penang state Public Works Committee Chairman Lim Hock Seng told an assembly sitting that a total of RM219.99 million was paid to the SPV and an independent consultant, the breakdown of which is as follows:
Payment to Zenith : RM208.75 million
Payment to HSS Integrated Sdn Bhd: RM11.23 million
Overall: RM219.99 million
Going by what we were told, Zenith was paid the RM208.75 million to conduct feasibility studies and design works related to the three paired roads, the cost breakdown of which is as follows:
Three main roads:
Feasibility study: RM31.2 million
Detailed design: RM177.4 million
Overall: RM208.7 million (the amount Guan Eng says was paid by swapping land)
However, we know that CRCC was only paid a little over RM3 million. We also know that the state government ‘paid’ the SPV with 5.67 acres of state land worth RM208 million.
It was also revealed that the SPV commenced luxury highrise projects worth RM800 million on a chunk of that land and pre-sold RM2.83 billion worth of state land to facilitate another mega-project, said to be worth some RM15 billion.
So why was CRCC paid only RM3 million since the project began, and what was the RM11.23 million payment to HSS for?
Also, on whose authority did the SPV pre-sell RM2.83 billion worth of state land? Is Guan Eng going to deny that the pre-sale was on his authority?
Is it not obvious that the Penang state government had no intention of constructing the three paired roads and the undersea tunnel?
I propose that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin establishes a Special Task Force comprising representatives from the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), the MACC, the Attornery-General’s Chambers (AGC) and other relevant authorities to conduct an in-depth probe into all these allegations.
There is so much more to the allegations against Lim that span beyond the scope of this article. I sincerely hope that the task force is established as soon as possible to allow authorities to pursue necessary action, including the freezing of Guan Eng’s bank accounts and the forfeiture of his assets.
To be continued…