PUTRAJAYA, Jun 10 – The public deserve straight answers from the Penang government on the Penang Undersea Tunnel project rather than conflicting the answers, said Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
He said he had raised questions in four press statements on the project and the latest was on May 24, and Penang Public Works Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng who held a press conference the day after, stated that it would be the last time he would be replying to the questions.
“Let me be clear, YB Lim saying he had answered all my questions is inaccurate and slightly misleading. In the meanwhile, beating around the bush is not the same as providing satisfactory answers to my questions,” he said in a statement issued here on Thursday.
Abdul Rahman cited a few examples from Lim’s press conference on May 25. One of them was on a question he had raised on three occasions, whether it was true that the land given to Consortium Zenith-BUCG (CZBUCG) was immediately sold or agreed to be sold at between RM845 psf and RM1,300 psf.
“Instead of giving me a proper answer, YB Lim persisted with his insistence that the JPPH valuation had valued the land in question at RM475 psf and left it at that. Upon being pressed the fourth time, YB Lim then gave the surprising answer that any sale of land between CZBUCG and third parties was “private transaction,” said Abdul Rahman.
Such an answer, he said, was “irresponsible” as the DAP-led Penang government had already paid in part and had agreed to transfer the state land to the private company.
He said that company then immediately signed to sell the land to another company at a price up to three times higher than the JPPH valuation. He said this was the very same valuation that YB Lim insisted was the land value. He said YB Lim then brushed he off by saying that the sale was a private transaction.
Abdul Rahman also pointed out that the Penang government seemed to be paying for the full construction cost of the project, but still allowed the company to collect revenue on a 30-year toll concession. He described this as an unprecedented arrangement never before seen in any other concession agreement in Malaysia, or in the world. — Bernama