Gerakan In The News

Gerakan: Penangites have every right to question Undersea Tunnel project

Aug 4, 2020

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Gerakan today handed over a petition – “Kita NAK Tahu Kebenaran Isu Projek Terowong” (We Want To Know The Truth About The Tunnel Project) – to the state government, demanding answers on the controversial Penang Undersea Tunnel project.

The online petition, launched last month, has managed to collect more than 1,000 signatures from concerned individuals about the project, which is now a subject of investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

The petition was handed over by state Gerakan education and community knowledge bureau chief Dr Kiew Hen Chong to Penang Chief Minister’s Office information officer Zahar Zainul in Komtar here.

“We hope the Penang government listens to concerns raised by the people and respect their demands for information (about the project).

“Although Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has answered some of the concerns raised by us last month, there are still many things left unanswered,” he said when met.

Dr Kew said after several state executive councillors were summoned by the graft busters to have their statements taken about the project recently, this had raised doubt among the people on the presence of graft elements in the controversial project.

“The people have every right to know the latest status about the project.

“This is because they have voted in leaders to lead the state and they have every right to know if the leaders they voted in are tainted or otherwise,” he added.

The New Straits Times had recently reported that the MACC had relaunched its investigation into the RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project following new evidence which it received on the matter.

The latest round of investigation saw the arrest of a former high-ranking official from Penang Port Commission. He has been released since.

The project had courted controversy in the past, especially over its RM305 million feasibility studies, as well as the nearly two-year delay in its completion.

The ambitious project consists of four components, including three road projects measuring 30km and an undersea tunnel, costing an estimated RM6.3 billion in total.

Last March, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin had named several Penang DAP leaders and state government officials, who he alleged were involved in corrupt practices involving the project.

He claimed that he was given a 200-page document by an individual at the MACC, and that he would produce extracts of its contents in several installments online to expose the matter.

Chow was the final VIP from the state to be called to have his statement recorded, where he spent about four hours with the investigators, answering questions about the undersea tunnel project and confirming decisions made at the state executive councillors’ meetings about the project.