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Works Ministry to YAB Lim: Let's meet ASAP and bring your 87% completed RM305 million studies.
1. YAB Lim Guan Eng need not have expressed surprised that I had raised that our Ministry has yet to receive a single piece of paper to support the Penang State Government's request for approval for a 3rd Penang Bridge instead of a 30 years tolled tunnel.
2. To refresh YAB Lim's memory, it was YAB Lim who submitted the request to us in May. After we had requested five times for supporting documents, it was YAB Lim who had publicly admitted in August 2016 that the studies are not completed and would only submit to us either at the end of last year or early this year.
3. As it was the end of the first quarter and past the deadline stated by YAB Lim, it was well within our rights to ask for an update.
4. We are surprised that YAB Lim says the studies are now stuck at 87% completion as of today and cannot proceed further as opposed to the 84% completion announced by YAB Lim in August 2016 - 7 months ago.
This is despite earlier announcements that the studies would have been fully completed and revealed to the public in April 2014.
5. We take note that the reason given by YAB Lim why the studies are now stalled is that a master reclamation plan has yet to be completed despite the project being awarded in 1999 and despite 9 years of DAP taking over the state government.
6. We are aware that large scale reclamation has already started at the island side of the project and has progressed at pace since a year ago.
7. We note that no construction work for the RM6.34 billion state project,has started - neither for the tunnel nor for any of the 3 linked highways despite the Penang government having told the public that physical construction would start in early 2015.
8. We are surprised by YAB Lim's answer that there is no urgency for the timely completion of the studies.
This is despite the Penang state government having already paid at least RM135 million out of the RM305 million cost of reports and allowing RM2.83 billion worth of Penang state land to be pre-sold by the concession company to a public-listed company in a ceremony witnessed by the Penang Chief Minister in January 2016.
9. To the best of our knowledge, we are unaware of any federal ministries who will give pre-approvals for multi-billion ringgit projects within 24 hours of submission without any supporting documents as alleged by YAB Lim yesterday.
We request YAB Lim to tell us which ministry has done this so that we can learn from them.
10. Our Ministry has the experience and track-record and remains committed to assist YAB Lim in this much-delayed RM6.34 billion state government project.
11. Therefore, we request that YAB Lim schedules a meeting with us next week and bring the 87% completed studies costing RM305 million along with him.
DATO' SRI HAJI FADILLAH BIN HAJI YUSOF
Minister of Works
1 April 2017