PCM files report on possible fraud involving Penang undersea tunnel

GEORGE TOWN: Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM) today urged the police to investigate allegations that the DAP-led Penang government awarded a project to a company with capital below the required level, when bidding for the submarine tunnel project to link the mainland with the island.

PCM vice-president Datuk Huan Cheng Guan, said he had lodged a police report yesterday on the allegations so that the police could investigate whether there was fraud or abuse of power in the bidding process.

According to him, a company is required to have a set amount of capital, before it can bid for a project.

"However, the company which succeeded in the bid for the project is said to have a capital 1,900 times lower than the minimum-level set by the Public Works Department," he told reporters here today.

He added that PCM intends to submit the report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) soon so that detailed investigations by various parties can be carried out to ensure no laws or guidelines were violated where the project is concerned.

The 7.2km long undersea tunnel project which connects Persiaran Gurney on Penang island to Bagan Ajam in Seberang Prai, and also three main roads, was awarded to Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd (Zenith), comprising several companies.

The project had previously triggered numerous controversies, among them the high cost of the feasibility study as well as the payment method which involved exchange of state government land.

In fact, the project also faced protests from the people of the state as well as non-governmental organisations concerned with its economic, social and environmental impact.

Earlier, Huan had also criticised Zenith's move to file an injunction to prohibit third parties from issuing any statements regarding the undersea tunnel project at the Penang High Court here this Thursday.

He described the company as being afraid of interference and questions from the public on the project.

"Are they trying to hide something from the public's knowledge? The application of this injunction proves that the term 'transparency' propagated by the Penang government is dead," he said. — Bernama