Lim's refusal to debate on undersea tunnel issue, a ploy: Wee

31 Mar 2018 / 15:37 H.

GEORGE TOWN: MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has told Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to stop his mind games about the controversies related to the RM6.3 billion cross-channel undersea tunnel.
"Lim should just answer the posers which have emerged from the project. Instead, he has sidestepped the issues including the invitation to debate. Now, he wants me to challenge him in the Bagan (parliament) seat."
The more misdirection that he applies to the controversy, the more controversial the project becomes, Wee said after his maiden appearance at Lim's parliamentary stronghold of Bagan here last night.
Bagan has traditionally become a DAP seat since the early 2000s after former state MCA liaison chairperson Tan Sri Dr Sak Cheng Lum retired.
Wee had earlier invited both Lim and his father; DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang to the event where together with Barisan Nasional's strategic communications deputy director Datuk Eric See – To; the duo went to great lengths to explain the issue.
Wee said that Lim risked having the issue stapled all over Penang during the run-up to the next general election if he continues to ignore the questions raised.
Mainly, how come the special purpose vehicle – the Consortium Zenith Sdn Bhd's paid-up capital of RM26.6 million is lower than the state's own capital requirements of RM381 million to execute the project.
The project consists of a 7.2 km long undersea tunnel linking Gurney Drive on the island with Bagan Ajam in Butterworth (mainland).
The tunnel would act as a catalyst in a fast traffic dispersal system with the help of three paired road packages, linking Gurney Drive, Air Itam and Batu Ferringhi to the island's main road artery, the Tun Dr Lim Chong Tu Expressway.
It is also packed in as part of the initial RM27 billion - Penang Transport Masterplan; the grandeur project of the Lim – led state government.
Wee's second contentious point was that the project was by now delayed up to four years, yet land swap transactions went ahead earlier.
See – To also inject to say that the consortium's initial partners or contractors from China have now changed and so it raises concerns about its viability.
Wee said that Lim had taken a big merry –go – around over the project, especially by his refusal to debate with him owing to party protocol.
"Yet, he challenges a Federal Minister like (Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan), Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, a former Inspector – General of Police to debates."
"He is the chief minister and I am a federal (deputy) minister, so what is wrong about a debate. Instead, he dishes out some protocol excuse about debating my party president (Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai) as the proper thing."
Wee said that Lim has clearly avoided a debate with him as he has spent time studying the entire framework of the project, and found severe discrepancies.
Wee also said that the 1MDB fund controversy has nothing to do with the tunnel; it is best to look at one specific project at a time.

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