Penang CM refutes tunnel claims

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KUALA LUMPUR: Construction giant China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd (CRCC) was only confirmed as the main contractor for Penang’s mega project of three main roads and an undersea tunnel in October 2013, says Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

The DAP secretary-general said the conclusive legal position was only finalised when the agreement was signed on Oct 6, 2013, and stamped on Oct 29 in the same year.

“I did not state in March 2013 that CRCC was the main shareholder.

“At that time, the lawyers had not finalised the agreement between the three parties comprising the state government, Zenith (Construc­tion) as the successful tenderer and CRCC as the main contractor,” Lim said in a statement yesterday.

He was rebutting claims by MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong on Tuesday that Lim had said CRCC was part of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) in charge of the mega project.

Dr Wee showed Lim’s open letter published in Buletin Mutiara’s 2013 March 16-31 edition, which stated that the state government had awarded the tender to Consortium Zenith BUCG.

Consortium Zenith BUCG is an SPV company set up by a joint venture among Construction Zenith and CRCC along with Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG), Sri Tinggi Sdn Bhd and Juteras Sdn Bhd.

Lim claimed that what he said in his open letter was before the inking of the agreement and in reference to the joint venture between the parties.

“What type of ‘joint venture’ is clarified legally and conclusively by the contractual agreement that was signed and stamped on October 2013.

“In that contractual agreement, it is clear that CRCC is the main contractor.

“Whatever was said before October 2013 is not as important or relevant compared to the contractual agreement signed in October 2013,” said Lim.

He added that it was clear that CRCC was the main contractor in the contractual agreement.

Meanwhile, Barisan Nasional strategic communications deputy director Datuk Eric See-To called on Lim to accept Dr Wee’s challenge to instruct the SPV to show documented proof of how much it had paid CRCC since the contract signing in 2013.

“The public has a right to know if CRCC is really the main contractor and if the SPV has the financial strength to deliver the project.

“This is a simple request. Surely you will have no problem in fulfilling this?” he asked in his Facebook posting yesterday.