Paid or not, BN presses Penang over tunnel project

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GEORGE TOWN: Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) today questioned whether the state government was telling the truth when it said not a single sen was paid for the RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project.

Its chairman Teng Chang Yeow said although the state had announced that it did not pay anything for the project, in an answer to the state assembly on Nov 2, it had disclosed that RM11.2 million was paid in cash to HSS Integrated Sdn Bhd.

He said HSSI Sdn Bhd was the technical consultant appointed by the state government to review and certify the claims payment submitted by the contractor, Consortium Zenith.

“Is this not lying when the DAP state government said that not a single sen had been paid but only land swapped?

“Now it seems every single sen has been paid and land swapped at the expense of the people of Penang,” he told a press conference here today.

Teng called on the DAP state government to be truthful about the consultancy payment.

He said the state government had also claimed that the land swap value at RM208 million was for the completion of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the three highways.

However, in the Public Accounts Committee report dated October 19, 2015 and tabled in the state assembly, Teng said it was clearly stated that the cost of conducting EIA reports for the three highways would be borne by the contractor.

“Is this not another lie of the DAP Penang state government? So, in relation to the undersea tunnel project, what has the state government been paying and how was it paid? Please avoid lying because official documents prove otherwise,” he added.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng previously said that not a single sen had been paid for the undersea tunnel project so far. He said what had been paid was RM208 million for the completion of the EIA reports for the three highways in the project.

The “three main roads” project, also called the three paired roads, involves highways from Air Itam to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (5.7km), from Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang (10.53km), and from Jalan Pangkor-Gurney Drive junction to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (4.1km).

The 7.2km undersea tunnel will connect George Town’s Jalan Pangkor to Bagan Ajam in Butterworth on the mainland. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023.

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