GEORGE TOWN, June 28 ― The DAP Penang government was today urged to explain the conflicting statements issued by two senior state Executive Councillors on the total payment for consultation of several projects, especially the feasible study for three main roads and an undersea tunnel.
Pulau Betong assemblyman Datuk Muhammad Farid Saad said State Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yew had issued a statement on June 24, that a total of RM177.5 million had been fully paid including payment for detailed environment impact assessment (DEIA).
He said Chow issued the statement in an attempt to defend consultation payment to Zenith Construction which was said to be 400 per cent higher than the permissible scale.
Nonetheless, Muhammad Farid alleged Chow's statement contradicted the reply of State Public Works, Utilities and Transport Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng at the last State Legislative Assembly session.
“I am requesting Lim to explain whether the statement made by his colleague Chow is correct or his own reply at the assembly on May 22 2017 is true?” Muhammad Farid said in a statement today.
During the assembly sitting on May 22, Lim was reported as saying the total payment to all parties involved in three main roads and tunnel project in Penang to date was RM219,987,410 comprising RM208,755,080 to Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd as the project contractor and RM11,232,330 to HSS Integrated Sdn Bhd as the independent project technical consultant appointed by the state government.
Meanwhile, Lim in a statement today said Chow’s statement referred to payment for DEIA carried out by Consortium Zenith Construction for a draft DEIA report as found in Schedule 4: Payment Schedule for Feasibility Studies and Detailed Design of the project's initial agreement.
According to him, the state government had appointed an independent consultant to review the documents provided by Consortium Zenith Construction and supplementary studies if necessary as well as the submission of DEIA report for approval by the Department of Environment.
"The state government has yet to make payment to the DEIA independent consultant, after all processes of DEIA had been completed by the independent consultant, payment to independent consultant will be made and the amount would be claimed back from Consortium Zenith Construction as provided under the agreement,” Lim said.
On June 20, Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications director Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan had asked the Penang government to clarify its action in paying the cost of consultation by 400 per cent higher for the three roads and undersea tunnel project compared to the gazetted rate. ― Bernama