Following is an editorial adapted from NST Online complete with responses by TTF (in blue):
GEORGE TOWN: The proposed Penang Undersea Tunnel and three paired roads projects have nothing to do with the graft case involving a former “Datuk Seri” businessman charged with cheating the contractor of the project, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today.
He said the charge sheet against M. G. Gnanaraja suggested that he could have taken advantage of a particular situation to obtain money from the managing director of Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli.
“This is not over the tender, not about how the government awarded tender to the company. It has nothing to do with the Penang government,” he told a press conference, here, today.
He said subsequent charges involving Gnanaraja were isolated and had nothing to do with the tunnel project
He was responding to a statement by Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Centre), which had urged the state government to place a moratorium on its agreement with Consortium Zenith Sdn Bhd until the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had completed its investigation into the controversial undersea tunnel project.
TTF: Chow’s explanation completely defies logic.
Gnanaraja was charged with three counts of cheating Zarul into believing that he was able to settle an MACC investigation into the RM6.3 billion mega tunnel project.
The investigation involves discoveries into the breach of procurement laws, illegal sale of land, discrepancies over payment to consultants, the mysterious RM11.23 million paid to HSS Intergrated Sdn Bhd, money channeled through bogus companies, Guan Eng’s stake in the project and the amount promised to him as kickback while serving as Chief Minister.
C4 was talking about the above and not the RM19 million Gnanaraja conned Zarul into paying.
It looks like the years Chow spent serving under Lim Guan Eng has turned him into an excellent spin master just like his former boss, who, to this day, responds to criticism and queries by politicians and the media by confusing them with ‘syok sendiri’ answers.
NST Online continued…
It was reported that Gnanaraja was charged with three counts of cheating Zarul of RM19 million.
He was alleged to have cheated Zarul into believing that he was able to settle an MACC investigation into the RM6.3 billion mega tunnel project.
He was subsequently charged with 68 counts of money laundering involving RM11.4 million.
C4 Centre argued that the company awarded the tender for the project had lost its credibility to carry out the undersea tunnel and paired roads projects, as it was reportedly involved in unethical ways of conducting business.
Chow said no charges had been filed against Zarul and his company pertaining to the project.