LAST_UPDATEThu, 21 Jun 2018 10pm

Who’s Lying? Lim Hock Seng Or Lim Guan Eng?

The controversy surrounding the Penang undersea tunnel enters a new phase as discrepancies on the payment information by the Penang state government have surfaced.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng denied that the state government had made any payment to the developer appointed to develop the project to conduct the feasibility studies, while stressing that the transfer of land ownership is for the construction of the three highways, not for the undersea tunnel.

“We only paid RM208 million in kind (to the consortium). We do not have money, so we paid through a land swap.

“That payment was for the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the three roads. Not the tunnel.

“We gave the consortium two pieces of land measuring 3.7 acres with a net development value at RM1,300 per square feet. Otherwise, we have not paid a single sen to them,”  he said during a press conference yesterday.

But Guan Eng’s confession contradicts the statement by State Exco Lim Hock Seng during the State Legislative Assembly in March 19, 2017.

Hock Seng said that RM216.9 million was already paid to all parties involved in the development of the project.

“The total payment to all parties involved in the three roads and tunnel projects in Penang until now is RM216,987,410,” he said.

Hock Seng reiterated once again that payment has been made in a written statement on behalf of the Chief Minister in response to the question by Betong assemblyman, Datuk Dr Muhamad Farid Saad regarding the payment method for the Penang Undersea Tunnel feasibility and detailed design studies reports.

“The cost for the feasibility and detailed design studies for three road projects is RM208 million. Payment was made to the company according to the milestones achieved.

“The studies were completed in May 2015 and for payment, the lands that have been identified and transferred to the company were Lot 702, Seksyen 1, Bandar Sri Tanjung Pinang as wide as 3.67 acres and part of Lot 713, Seksyen 1, Bandar Sri Tanjung Pinang as wide as 2 acres.

“Lot 702 was transferred to the contractor on February 17, 2015 at the value of RM135 million. Meanwhile, part of Lot 713 as wide as 2 acres was transferred on March 22, 2017 at the value of RM73 million, making the total value of both plot of lands to be RM208 million based on the net developable area,” said Hock Seng.

Political analyst/blogger, Lim Sian See commented that he is confused over the discrepancy between the two state representatives.

“Guan Eng said that not a single sen was paid in cash or in any other form to the Penang Tunnel contractor. He said that there was no corruption.

“But the Penang EXCO Lim Hock Seng answered during the State Legislative Assembly session that RM209 million has been paid in the form of land transfer to the contractors for the cost of the report.

“Who is the one actually lying,” he asked.