New Straits Times

Explain payment claims, Penang government told


GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government must explain claims that Consortium Zenith Constructi­on Sdn Bhd had allegedly paid two businessme­n to “close” the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigat­ion into the proposed RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project.

State Barisan Nasional chairman Teng Chang Yeow said this was necessary in view of the state administra­tion’s competency, accountabi­lity and transparen­cy slogan.

“The state government must explain to people the claims and status of the project.

“How could such a thing happen and whether there was any wrongdoing in the project’s implementa­tion.

“This is because allegation­s that Zenith Constructi­on allegedly paid RM22 million to two businessme­n to close the investigat­ion are a serious matter.

“It raises the question from where they got the RM22 million,” he said yesterday.

Teng said public in- terest would be affect- ed if the state government ig- nored the issue.

“And, to compound matters, Consortium Zenith has kept quiet since the allegation­s surfaced,” he said.

On Sunday, MACC Deputy Chief Commission­er (operations) Datuk Seri Azam Baki said the commission would conduct separate investigat­ions into the project and the two businessme­n.

He had said the investigat­ions carried out on the two individual­s were unrelated to MACC’s investigat­ion into the project.

Azam said the investigat­ion into the two businessme­n, a Datuk and a Datuk Seri, being held on remand, was conducted under Section 16 of the MACC Act 2009 for bribery.

On Saturday, a businessma­n, a Datuk, was remanded for four days by the Putrajaya magistrate’s court to assist an investigat­ion into a bribery case involving RM3 million, which was meant to cover up MACC’s probe into the project.

It is learnt that the suspect had allegedly received RM3 million from the project’s main contractor via four transactio­ns last year after the suspect allegedly claimed he was able to “settle” the investigat­ion.

The suspect had allegedly asked for RM4 million, but negotiatio­ns saw the asking price reduced to RM3 million.

He was the second person to be remanded after a Datuk Seri was accused of receiving RM19 million for the same purpose.

Up to last week, the graftbuste­rs have recorded statements from 127 witnesses to assist in its investigat­ion into the project, which will connect Gurney Drive on the island to Bagan Ajam in Butterwort­h once completed.

 ??  ?? Teng Chang Yeow
Teng Chang Yeow

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