Penang party leader Tan Teik Cheng wants the chief minister to explain CRCC and BUCG’s exit from the SPV that has been awarded the project

KUALA LUMPUR: Penang MCA chief Tan Teik Cheng questioned how Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng intends to convince Penangites on the viability of the undersea tunnel and three highway projects, hit by controversies as two major Chinese companies had pulled out from the special purpose vehicle (SPV), Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd.

“From Beijing Urban Construction Group BUCG’s silent departure, to Mudajaya Group’s giving up of the RM810 million contractual agreement, and China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) losing of interest due to failure in receiving the promised monies over the past 5 years, how may and will Guan Eng convince the people that the project is doubt-free?” Tan asked, in a statement.

He pointed out that Lim consistently highlighted the involvement of CRCC and BUCG along with a local company were not interested in the tunnel and highway project leading to the problems it is facing now.

“From the evidences and leads revealed so far, it is clear that both China construction giants ie CRCC and BUCG are not interested in the Penang undersea tunnel and three highway projects. When another locally public listed firm also withdrew as a contractor, it goes without saying that the project is facing tremendous problems.

“In spite of this, Lim has been proudly making references to the two China firms, in his deliberate attempt to make use of this obvious one-sided love affair to enhance his image.

“Lim should be questioned as to whether he can show any proof that BUCG had all the while been holding 10% of the shares, from the signing of the preliminary agreement in October 2013, right up to its withdrawal from the SPV in September 2016.”

Tan also said that BUCG had reduced its stake in Zenith from the initial 10% to 0.0157% in 2015 prior to it been shown the exit by the DAP led Penang government due to an accident in Kuala Lumpur.

“In other words, BUCG had lost interest in the project since the early stage, and its withdrawal was not due to being ‘kicked out’; Lim’s eviction order was only a political show, in his attempt to cover up the fact that BUCG has lost its confidence towards the project long before it was investigated or involved in controversy.”

Tan also blamed Lim for CRCC’s exit from the project.

“As far as CRCC is concerned, being the main contractor, CRCC has its fair share of dissatisfaction and fails to comprehend why it was perceived as a shareholder in the SPV since the beginning.

“Moreover, it only received a mere RM3 million plus in fees, its work progress was affected and it was constantly put under the spotlight in a controversial manner, causing it to quickly lose its interest.

“When Lim sensed CRCC’s intention to leave, he immediately came out with the pre-emptive strike to warn CRCC of the Penang government’s legal action if it left, while blaming it on the federal government and Transport Minister, claiming sabotage, without trying to find out his and the project’s various problems.