Guan Eng wonders if Penang tunnel project raids are due to polls, pledges cooperation

Lim said the MACC has been investigating the proposed undersea tunnel project since 2016, and was surprised the probe was still active now. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Lim said the MACC has been investigating the proposed undersea tunnel project since 2016, and was surprised the probe was still active now. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 10 ― Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng questioned today the motive behind the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission’s (MACC) raids and arrests yesterday over the state's proposed undersea tunnel project.

Lim said the MACC has been investigating the project since 2016, and was surprised the probe was still active now.

“We hope this is not because of the elections cycle and this is not because of an attack by pro-BN forces against the state government,” he said in a press conference in Komtar here today.

Lim pointed out that the undersea tunnel project was awarded through an open competitive tender that was overseen by international accounting firm, KPMG.

“Why are they investigating a contract awarded through a competitive open tender and yet they did not investigate other projects without open tenders,” he asked.

Lim said he had instructed his officers to give full cooperation to assist MACC in its investigations.

He said everything about the project was contained in the tender documents.

He also questioned why this renewed investigations into the undersea tunnel project had garnered such widespread publicity that it made the front page of some newspapers.

“Why were there was no such widespread publicity on the MACC investigations into the Perda land scandal in South Seberang Perai?” he asked.

“I know they are investigating the case but there was no publicity on it, maybe I will ask MACC to ask for more media publicity on the Perda land scandal case,” Lim said.

Yesterday, MACC raided seven offices in Penang including several government agencies, a developer and a construction company.

Documents were seized from these offices during the raids while two senior executives from two companies were remanded until January 15 to assist in investigations.

MACC is conducting investigations into the state infrastructure project based on new evidence submitted to the anti-graft agency recently.

Last Saturday, Parti Cinta Malaysia lodged a second report with allegedly new evidence on the undersea tunnel project to MACC in Putrajaya.

The controversial 7.2km undersea tunnel, which was awarded to Consortium Zenith, was proposed to connect Gurney Drive on the island to Bagan Ajam in Butterworth as part of the state’s Penang Transport Master Plan to ease traffic congestion in the state.

The feasibility studies for the tunnel was delayed for almost two years and last October, Consortium Zenith claimed there was no hurry to complete the studies as the project is only expected to start in 2023.

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