FACT CHECK: Regarding YB Tony Pua’s ‘The Curious Case of the Persecution of Lim Guan Eng’

FACT CHECK Regarding YB Tony Pua’s ‘The Curious Case of the Persecution of Lim Guan Eng’

With all due respect YB,

1. The tunnel project was NOT awarded via Open Tender. It was awarded via a Request for Proposal (RFP). In Open Tenders, all parties bid on the same project with the specifications provided by the client. The bidders will fight to see who is able to carry out the same set of specifications for the lowest price. However, in an RFP, the client does not provide any plan or project specifications for the parties to bid on. The client only has a rough idea of what they want. They then call a RFP, leaving bidders to submit different proposals, and no two proposals are the same.

The entire Penang Transport Master Plan was an RFP (Request for Proposal) RFP is NOT Open Tender, as the public have no means to scrutinize or compare the proposals. Also, RFP are a type of Public-Private Partnership (PPP), which are rather risky. According to Prof Jomo, they are easily abused “because they are ‘off balance sheet’ and do not show up on government debt, giving the illusion of ‘easy money’ or credit”.

MACC did NOT close the case in November 2018. As late as March 2019, when Pakatan Harapan was in full swing, the MACC had confirmed that there were at least 6 active investigation papers looking into the Penang Tunnel issue.

But after PH came to power, MACC mysteriously marked the Penang file ‘No Further Action’, which even perplexed Latheefa Koya so much that she called for it to be reviewed in July 2019 .

But we will never know the results of that review as she suddenly refused to talk about it.

3. Not a single sen involved? Not all corruption has to do with the exchange or transfer of funds & cash. It is public knowledge that cost of the feasibility studies was to be paid via a land swap. It was previously reported to be RM305 million, and the findings are still unreleased as of today – 7 years after the agreement was signed.

Back in January 2018, Penang State Public Works Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng admitted that RM208 million had already been paid just for the feasibility study and road design alone, and such payment was made via alienation of two pieces prime seaside freehold land at the exclusive Seri Tanjung Pinang to Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd, the firm which was awarded the project to build an undersea tunnel and three roads.

Also in January 2018, Lim Guan Eng had said that the feasibility study for the tunnel was 92% complete. It is now August 2020 and the tunnel study is still nowhere to be seen. But by now, condominium blocks with a gross development value of RM800 million and the Wellness City of Dreams at Bandar Tanjong Pinang, Penang with a gross development value of RM15 billion, have already sprung up on the lands given as payment for the tunnel study.

Not a single sen involved indeed.

4. Lim Guan Eng is not the only one targeted. A whole host of persons have been interviewed and questioned by the MACC, not just Lim Guan Eng alone. You mentioned that the tunnel project was evaluated by a committee chaired by the state secretary? Well, both the Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang and Penang State Secretary at the time Datuk Seri Farizan Darus have been called up for questioning as well.

If the tunnel project was really free from any form of corruption, why was Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd so eager to get MACC to close their investigations into the RM6.3bil undersea tunnel project that they paid a conman RM19 million to egt MACC to ‘settle’?

So what could be the reason Lim Guan Eng has been so kind to Consortium Zenith Construction, giving them the project and practically free land?

It has been revealed today (7th August 2020) that the MACC charged Lim Guan Eng under Section 16 (a) (A) of the MACC Act 2009 for “corruptly soliciting” 10% of the profits in kickbacks from Datuk Zarul Ahmad Zulkifli, the senior executive director of Consortium Zenith Construction, in return for the projects.

We keep hearing “not a single sen paid/received” from YB Tony and his comrades. But Lim Guan Eng was not charged for receiving bribe money; rather, he was charged for SOLICITING bribe money (https://www.nst.com.my/news/crime-courts/2020/08/614672/guan-eng-charged-soliciting-bribe-bail-fixed-rm1-million) . So it should have been “not a single sen paid…yet”.

Of course, we have been hearing about this from Raja Petra since last year, but it still remains to be proven true. Raja Petra chose to ignore the lawsuit in order to protect his source in the MACC, hence Lim Guan Eng was awarded a judgement-in-default. We hope that Lim Guan Eng’s lawyers fight the good fight in clearing his name, and may the judges be fair.

PS: On a side note, there is no need to bring Dato’ Sri Najib into this at all, YB. He has already been convicted by a court of law. Two wrongs don’t make a right. At least Dato’ Sri Najib was tried in court, perhaps it is time for Lim Guan Eng to prove his case too?

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