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Penang 'drops' China firm BUCG from undersea tunnel project
Published:  Sep 6, 2016 9:37 AM
Updated: Sep 7, 2016 4:44 AM

The Penang government has decided not to allow China-based firm Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) to operate in the state following a fatal tower crane accident involving a Penang girl in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, on Aug 25.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng reiterated his stand that the firm should not be allowed to conduct business in Penang as it refused to be accountable for the accident in which the crane hook from a construction site fell more than 20 storeys onto the 24-year-old administration executive Chim Khoo Sing's car.

“I have stated that those who are wrong have to be accountable for their crimes,” Lim said at a press conference in George Town today.

“This is because Penang wants responsible contractors, not those who play with Malaysians’ lives, and we do not want those who refuse to be responsible for accidents involving their own firms,” he added.

Lim said the firm was one of the contractors under Consortium Zenith-BUCG (Zenith) responsible for the construction of the Penang undersea tunnel, which will link Gurney Drive to Butterworth on the mainland.

However, he noted that the main contractor under the consortium is China Railway, a bigger company that constructed the train track to Tibet, and not BUCG.

Lim said he has conveyed the state’s stand on the issue to Zenith chairperson Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulklifi, who has written a letter to the state to asks its approval to drop BUCG from the consortium.

“Zenith has agreed that the company withdraws itself from the project and the Penang government has given its approval for it,” said Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general.

“We hope such actions can be an example to be followed by the federal government. It is no point giving great statements in the press, but do nothing to act,” Lim said.

No compensation for BUCG

He confirmed that no compensation would be paid by the Penang government to BUCG as a “breach of obligation” has been allegedly committed by the company.

“It is between Zenith and BUCG,” said Lim, who is Bagan MP.

“We have certain rights when the contractor does not fulfil its obligation; the accident may have happened in Kuala Lumpur but the victim is from Penang,” he added.

“If the firm has no accountability, there is no point for it to operate in Penang, as up to now, the firm has not contacted us or the victim’s family,” Lim said.

In the accident in Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur, Chim died on the spot after a 500kg crane hook fell and slammed into her Perodua Kelisa in Jalan Raja Chulan.

The Sun Daily reported the crane operator involved has fled the country barely two days after the incident.

According to the report, BUCG has suspended work on its hotel project, pending advice from the authorities.

BUCG's branch in Kuala Lumpur is not available for comment but Malaysiakini is trying to seek the firm's response in Kuala Lumpur and China as well.

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