State exco told to contact company reps over tunnel project, says witness

Former exco told the Court that Lim provided him with the phone numbers of the representatives from Consortium Zenith Construction and BUCG


FORMER Penang Chief Minister (CM) Lim Guan Eng (picture) had asked one of the then state executive councillors (excos) to get in touch with two company representatives over the undersea tunnel project despite the contract being set for an open tender, the court has heard.

Former Penang public works, utilities and transportation exco Datuk Lim Hock Seng testified that the CM had instructed him to contact Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, a senior ED of Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd, and a local representative of Beijing Urban Construction Group Sdn Bhd (BUCG) Lee Chee Hoe concerning a proposal for the construction of an undersea tunnel.

The third prosecution witness told the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court that Lim provided him with the phone numbers of the representatives who were interested in exploring the undersea tunnel project.

“Shortly after that, the state government signed a memorandum of understanding with BUCG on the company’s interest to undertake the project. At that time, BUCG had estimated it to cost about RM10 billion,” Hock Seng said during the proceeding yesterday.

The Bagan Jermal assemblyman also said Lim had asked for the request for proposal to be hastened.

The witness also told the court that Lim had led a 10-member state delegation to Beijing, China, for a visit from June 2-8, 2011, fully covered by the Penang state government.

“All accommodation, travel tickets and sustenance expenses were paid for by the state government,” Hock Seng said.

The trip to China was on the invitation of BUCG to study its construction projects in Beijing.

Lim, 60, is facing four corruption charges involving the construction of an undersea tunnel and paired roads project in Penang.

He was accused of soliciting kickbacks amounting to 10% of the profits raked by the Consortium Zenith Construction in the project.

He is also accused of using his position as the then CM to receive RM3.3 million in gratification for himself as an inducement for helping the company secure the project valued at RM6.3 billion.

The Bagan MP also faces two charges for allegedly causing two plots of land belonging to the Penang government worth RM208.8 million to be disposed of to two companies linked to the tunnel project.