PETALING JAYA - Another question has been raised over Penang’s RM6.3bil mega project – the controversial Penang undersea tunnel project and three main roads – with the spotlight trained on the alleged “reapportionment” of the contract value of these four projects.
Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications deputy director Datuk Eric See-To said the total contract value for the three roads has increased significantly while that of the undersea tunnel has decreased in one of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) shareholder’s submission to Bursa Malaysia last year.
“How is it possible that the contract cost for one of the roads jumped by 44% in just five months?” said See-To.
In Voir Holdings Bhd’s submission to Bursa Malaysia in August last year, the contract value of the 10.53km North Coastal Paired Road from Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang (Major Road 1) was RM1.111bil, the 5.7km Air Itam-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass (Major Road 2) was RM974.8mil, the 4.075km Gurney Drive-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass (Major Road 3) was RM1.105bil and the undersea tunnel was RM2.845bil.
The figures add up to RM6.036bil, the same figure provided by Penang exco member Lim Hock Seng in a written reply at the state assembly in March last year after deducting the cost of the feasibility studies.
Although the total contract value is similar, the breakdown of the values given by Voir Holdings – which later changed its name to Vertice Bhd on Nov 27 last year – were vastly different from what was provided by Lim in the state assembly, See-To said.
Lim’s figures were RM772mil for Major Road 1, RM991.6mil for Major Road 2, RM767.5mil for Major Road 3 and RM3.5bil for the undersea tunnel.
“The first road’s contract cost has shot up by 44% or RM339.6mil while the undersea tunnel contract cost has dropped around 19% or almost RM660mil,” said See-To.
“Also of concern is that the feasibility study cost for Major Road 1 is RM120mil, much higher than the RM96mil cost for the more complicated undersea tunnel that costs 10 times more to construct,” he added.
Lim did not respond to requests for comments.
Meanwhile, Bernama reported that a 50-year-old woman consultant who has been remanded since Wednesday to assist the Malaysian Anti-Coruption Commision’s probe into the feasibility studies of the project was released on bail yesterday.
Magistrate Nik Muhammad Azrin Hafiz Nik Mahmood ordered that the woman be released on bail of RM208,000 with one surety.