The ongoing investigations by the MACC into the controversial Penang undersea tunnel has now shifted towards the payment of RM305 million to the companies that conducted the feasibility study of the mega project.
According to the sources, the MACC investigating team was in the midst of recording statements from witnesses from the appointed companies, to identify the payment procedures.
“Looking through the documents seized during the investigation, they are believed to be able to assist in determining whether the payment (RM305 million) is the true value or inflated.
“MACC is also investigating whether the companies involved have the accreditation to carry out the feasibility study of the undersea tunnel,” the sources said.
“Regardless of whether the appointed experts are from either the government or private parties, what is important is that they have the expertise to conduct such study,” the sources said.
Meanwhile, MACC deputy chief commissioner (Operations) Azam Baki when contacted, said the agency was conducting a thorough investigation on the payment process for the companies involved in carrying out the tunnel feasibility study.
“I ask all parties to give MACC the space to carry out the investigations and we are in the midst of recording statements from important witnesses, to assist us in completing the investigation.
“We will call several important individuals in the near future to record their statement in relations to the case,” he said.
Azam said the MACC today had recorded statements from eight individuals, including a company secretary, advisers and consultancy firms and raided nine companies in Penang and Kuala Lumpur to assist in the investigations.
The 7.2-km long undersea tunnel project connecting the Persiaran Gurney to Bagan Ajam in Seberang Perai and the three major road components was awarded to Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd.
The project had triggered controversies mainly over the cost of the feasibility study which was too high as well as payment methods involving the exchange of state government lands and its implementation was objected to by the islanders who were concerned with the economic, social and environmental impact.