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Fadillah issuing conflicting statements on road project, says Chow

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A Penang government leader has hit out at Works Minister Fadillah Yusof, saying that his recent claims about consultant fees for the three major road projects in the state were excessive and costs were "double counted” were confusing the public.

Penang exco member Chow Kon Yeow today contended that it was Fadillah’s statements that were “confusing”, not the Penang government's, as he had contradicted himself on two occasions by issuing conflicting remarks.

Chow pointed out that Fadillah’s statement yesterday that there was “double counting” of the fees paid to the concessionaire Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd conflicted with his earlier remark that Zenith was overpaid by 400 percent.

He said the Penang government has listed down 10 elements of the work scope of the project to show that the consultant fees were not overpaid by 400 percent as alleged.

These 10 elements are land survey, detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA), land tunnel design, architectural design, mechanical and electrical, project management, social impact study, traffic impact study, financial feasibility and funding management.

“But now, Fadillah said that only three components of the 10 in the work scope costing RM177.5 million are under the purview of the board of engineers," Chow said in a statement.

“Fadillah’s statement also conflicts with his earlier statement on June 23 when he alleged that RM177.5 million is four times the fees stated in the gazetted scale of fees,” added Chow, who is DAP state chief.

Chow was responding to Fadillah, who was quoted in The Star as advising him to exercise care in future when explaining about fees related to the road construction industry in order not to confuse the public.

In his statement yesterday, Fadillah said the DEIA, social impact study, traffic impact study, and financial feasibility and funding management were components of the project's feasibility study, which the state had already paid a separate RM31.2 million for.

Chow also reminded Fadillah that Penang has repeated its clarification several times regarding consultant fees paid to Zenith, which was awarded the concession to build the three major roads linked to the undersea tunnel between the island and Butterworth.

He added that the media carried his clarification, and a letter has been sent to the board of engineers on June 23 to further explain the matter.

“But until today, the Penang government has yet to receive any feedback regarding its request to meet with the board of engineers,” Chow said.

Chow, who oversees the local government, traffic management, and flood mitigation portfolio, urged Fadilah to expedite the meeting between the Penang administration and the board of engineers.

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