“Is it not obvious that you had no intention of constructing the three paired roads and the undersea tunnel? Yet, when cornered, you resort to bringing Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak into the picture by alleging that the Prime Minister was assisting Gerakan and the MCA tarnish your reputation. But what has Najib got to do with this? Was it he who conned CRCC into thinking that they would be paid the full RM69 million?”
THE THIRD FORCE
Lim Guan Eng is at it again.
After his balls were nailed to the wall twice by MCA deputy president Dato’ Seri Wee Ka Siong in a span of just days, the Penang Chief Minister is attempting yet another Rothmans International 180 degrees maneuver, this time, alleging that Barisan Nasional is attempting to sabotage the Penang Undersea Tunnel Project. Now, I bet you that the guys at Rothmans – if they’re still around, that is – would be amazed how this fellow could negotiate such a maneuver on a nonexistent road that contractors from China were promised millions upon millions to design.
There is no doubt in my mind the entire RM6.3 billion project was a scam from the get-go. With Ka Siong’s explosive disclosure hours ago, we now have reason to believe that the Penang state government was never intent on fulfilling its obligations to China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd (CRCC), the Chinese construction firm that Guan Eng went from being “shareholder” to “main contractor” to “what the hell you guys in BN want from me lar??”
I want your blood, Mr. Chief Minister.
In a metaphoric sense, that is. I want you to admit that the tunnel project was nothing but a huge smokescreen billowed from your office in Komtar to mask a massive land scam deal. From the looks of it, this deal involved 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 seems that the guys from the Penang Chinese Chambers of Commerce (PCCC) were complicit with the whole lot of you in a scheme to reap benefits from the wanton sale – or rather, ‘donation’ – of state land.
Imagine, you guys awarded the massive undertaking to a conglomerate that barely had the means to service its obligations to 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 the guys at Barisan Nasional’s Strategic Communications team.
However, Ka Siong has since disclosed that CRCC was contracted “for a sum of US$22mil (approximately RM69mil then) to undertake the detailed design work for the 3 roads and tunnel,” which, according to the MCA leader, “is the largest scope among the RM305mil worth of reports that the Penang state government is paying the Tunnel SPV for.” So tell me, what the heck is the scope of work that qualified the remaining consultants for the leftover RM236 million?
To produce pieces of paper?
Or did those consultants serve as the mediums through which you and your guys from Zenith and the PCCC received kickbacks? According to 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 5 years ago.” 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, we’re led to believe that 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 now know that CRCC was only paid a little over RM3 million, meaning, the SPV must have faced some problem or other with the 5.67 acres of state land it received (worth RM208 million) to justify the delay in its payments. However, Lim Sian See has since pointed out that 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 tell me, Guan Eng, why was CRCC paid a meagre RM3 million since the project began???
Is it not obvious that you had no intention of constructing the three paired roads and the undersea tunnel? Yet, when cornered, you resort to bringing Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak into the picture by alleging that the Prime Minister was assisting Gerakan and the MCA tarnish your reputation. But what has Najib got to do with this? Was it he who conned CRCC into thinking that they would be paid the full RM69 million?
(Note: Second last paragraph edited at 5.02 on 12/2/18 for clarity purposes)