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The Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court was told today that former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng had informed the State Government Council meeting that the state’s major road and undersea tunnel project was awarded through open tender.
Former Penang state executive councillor Lim Hock Seng, 73, said that during the meeting on April 27, 2011, there was a note stating that Lim had said there was an open tender with regard to the project before he left for China.
However, Hock Seng said the two memoranda of understanding (MoU) signed between the state government and the Beijing Urban Construction Group Sdn Bhd (BUCG) around 2011 did not state that the project was made via open tender.
According to Hock Seng, after the MoUs were signed, the project was given to Consortium Zenith Bejing Urban Construction Group Sdn Bhd (CZBUCG), which is a joint venture company with BUCG.
He said this during a re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin on the sixth day of Lim’s corruption case. Lim is facing four charges relating to the undersea tunnel and major road construction projects in the state.
The third prosecution witness said that he then met Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, who was then the CZBUCG managing director and informed the State Government Council of their meeting.
“The state meeting, which was chaired by Lim, later instructed that a working paper on the proposed project for the undersea tunnel and major roads in the state be tabled for consideration,” he said.
Earlier, in his witness statement, Hock Seng told the court that the pre-Qualification Advertisement regarding the tender for the project through the state government’s website was made on Nov 11, 2011, while the advertisement in local newspapers was made on Nov 15, 2011.
Hock Seng said eight companies passed the pre-qualification requirements, namely China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd & VST Cemerlang Sdn Bhd, Setia Precast Sdn Bhd, ECK Construction Sdn Bhd, Gamuda Berhad, Zambina Wawasan Sdn Bhd, IJM-CRGL Joint Ventures, Consortium Zenith BUCG Juteras & Sri Tinggi JV and WCT Daewoo Joint Ventures.
However, CZBUCG was appointed to build major roads and the undersea tunnel in Penang as the company received the highest marks for the overall technical and financial assessment.
According to the first amended charge, Lim, 60, is charged with using his position as then Penang chief minister to obtain a bribe of RM3.3 million for helping a company owned by Zarul to secure the construction project worth RM6,341,383,702.
The offence was allegedly committed between January 2011 and August 2017 at the Penang Chief Minister's Office.
On the second amended charge, Lim is accused of soliciting bribes amounting to 10 percent of the profits from Zarul to be earned by the company as gratification for helping his (Zarul) company to secure the project.
The offence was allegedly committed near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City in Kuala Lumpur, between 12.30am and 2am in March 2011.