Najib snipes at creeping pace of RM305 mil Penang tunnel study

The state government proposes to build an undersea tunnel from Gurney Drive on Penang island to northern Seberang Perai. (File pic)

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak today questioned the creeping pace of a feasibility study for the proposed Penang undersea tunnel project, after the state government said it was now only 90% completed.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow had said today the study was still not ready and was only 90% completed. He also said that the tunnel is not a priority.

Najib retorted: “In 2016 the feasibility study was 83% complete, yet in August 2019 it was 90%. Does it take that long to achieve an additional 7%? How thick is it (the study)? A million pages?”

He noted that the state government had already paid RM305 million for the study. Najib said that Chow was adding salt to injury, by saying the undersea tunnel was no longer a priority.

Where is it? Najib Razak earlier this year in a snide posting about the proposed Penang tunnel. (Facebook pic)

“But if that is the case, why was the project awarded as early as six years ago?” said Najib.

He said that the DAP-led state government under then Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had promised that the study would be completed in April 2014.

Then in 2016, Lim announced the study was 83% done and said it would be done by June that year, Najib noted.

The planned 7.2km-long tunnel, linking Persiaran Gurney to Bagan Ajam in Seberang Perai, is part of the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan, which calls for new highways, an LRT and monorail mass transit, and bus routes for the island and the mainland.

The project has attracted brickbats with critics questioning the RM305 million price tag of the feasibility study as well as the delay of over two years for its completion.