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MCA Reveals More Discrepancies With Penang Tunnel Project

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KUALA LUMPUR - MCA today revealed further discrepancies involving the multi-billion ringgit Penang cross-channel undersea tunnel project.

Its deputy president, Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, said any changes to a project that was awarded by a state government needed to be reverted back to the latter, especially if it involved shareholdings.

He said failure to do so could render the project null and void.

Wee, however, said this was not done for the controversial Penang undersea tunnel project, after several changes were made to its special purpose vehicle (SPV) shareholding.

"As a state government, if such a massive project is handed over to another company and there are shareholding changes or other changes made, the state government certainly has the power to make some decision.

"At least, they must inform you (Lim Guan Eng) as the chief minister. So please, address this matter clearly," he said in a press conference today.

Wee was referring to Lim's statement on Jan 15 that the latter was unclear of the decision to include Voir Holdings Bhd, a local fashion company, as part of the project's special purpose vehicle (SPV).

Lim's claim came after it was revealed that Voir had been listed as part of the project's SPV, despite not being in the initial one, with a 13.21% equity.

He had clarified that Voir was merely an investor and not the main contractor of the tunnel project.

The DAP secretary-general had also claimed that it was beyond the state government to interfere in any company's shareholding structure.

"Based on the contract signed, Consortium Zenith-BUCG Sdn Bhd was awarded the project and it had appointed China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd (CRCC) as the main project contractor. That is the contract we signed and we will abide by it," he had said.

Wee, however, said based on the latest report he obtained from Bursa Malaysia, CRCC was no longer listed under the project SPV, despite being previously reported to be sharing a 70% of equity with Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd.

"Based on the latest Bursa report related to the SPV, Zenith Construction now holds a 47.12% equity, with CRCC no longer listed.

"So if CRCC no longer exist in the SPV, why does he (Lim) keep mentioning its name? Lim must explain," he said.

Wee added that another China company, Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG), which supposedly held a 10% share initially, was also not listed in the new SPV provided by Bursa Malaysia.

The undersea tunnel project has come under scrutiny in recent months, with the cost for the design and feasibility study at RM305 million especially raising eyebrows.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating the alleged discrepancies in the project, on Jan 11, said it believed the cost was overpriced by five times.

On Jan 9, two company directors were held by the MACC in connection with the case.

At least 10 people comprising officers form the State Secretariat, Land and Mines Department, PWD, Economic and Financial Planning Department and a managing director of a company have also had their statements recorded so far.

-THE SUN DAILY