MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

MACC nabs man who promised ‘immunity’ to tunnel builders


GEORGE TOWN: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today arrested a man suspected of having promised “immunity” from any graft probe to contractors involved in the Penang tunnel-roads project.
MACC deputy commissioner (operations) Azam Baki confirmed the arrest but declined to comment further.
“Just one arrested,” he said in a text message to FMT.
Malaysiakini reported that a 37-year-old businessman had received RM19 million in three different tranches from July to August last year.
Quoting sources, the news portal said the man was initially paid RM2 million, followed by another RM15 million paid to a company and another RM2 million last August.
Yesterday, the portal also reported Baling MP Abdul Azeez Rahim and a businessman were issued demand letters by Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (Zenith) on Feb 24.
Quoting sources, Malaysiakini reported that Azeez and the businessman were supposed to do “consultancy work in regulatory compliance and risk management” in relation to the undersea tunnel component.
Azeez was allegedly given RM3 million for the project, while RM19 million was paid to the businessman. At the time of writing, FMT cannot verify if the businessman was the same person arrested.
Azeez, who is an Umno supreme council member, told Malaysiakini that he had indeed received the letter from Zenith but said its contents are “totally untrue”.
The source said Zenith wants to take the men to court for “failing to execute their tasks” as per an agreement in July 2017.
Earlier, Azam told reporters in Butterworth the probe will take time as it involved technical complexities.
He also revealed to date, 127 people have had their statements recorded over the probe into the case.
Two statements were taken recently from Penang state executive councillors Lim Hock Seng and Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy.
The last major arrest involved the chief executive and an engineer of a consultancy firm, who are alleged to have falsified claims in the feasibility studies and detailed design of the project.
Five people have been arrested and released on bail.
The 7.2km undersea tunnel will connect George Town’s Pangkor Road and Bagan Ajam in Butterworth. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023.
The Penang government has been reported as saying that the tunnel is of low priority and can take off later after the three main highways are completed.
The “three main roads” stretch from Air Itam to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (5.7km); Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang (10.53km); and Jalan Pangkor-Gurney Drive junction to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (4.1km). -FMT

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