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PETALING JAYA: Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has challenged Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to a debate over the Penang Tunnel project
In a statement issued on Monday (March 5), Wee denied directing statements at the Penang State Secretary and said that Lim was trying to divert the blame for the scandals affecting the project
The following is his statement in full :
Penang Chief Minister's statement yesterday shows that Lim Guan Eng knows the game is up
It betrays his desperation, his lack of accountability and his attempt to wash his hands off the scandal.
Other than recycling a statement of his which I have long answer, Guan Eng launches into personal insults calling me a "despicable human being" and claiming that I have been running down the Penang state secretary.
My statements have always been directed at the Chief Minister and never at the Penang State Secretary. For Guan Eng to say I have been continuing to run down the State Secretary is an outright lie.
All my statements can be found in the media and posted on my FaceBook page. You can check for yourself here: https://www.facebook.com/weekasiong/
However, what the CM appears to be doing is that he is now attempting to divert the blame for the scandal to the Penang State Secretary and claim that DAP politicians have no hand in approving the project.
Unfortunately for the CM, very few people will believe that DAP leaders had no hand in the award of the Penang Tunnel project as well as the management of the project.
For one, the award of any project of this size must surely require the State exco's endorsement of whom Guan Eng is the head.
This tactic to wash his hands off the scandal is also evident when Guan Eng now tells the press that the Penang Tunnel SPV now no longer communicates with him and that the press should divert questions on the SPV to Umno instead.
Incredulously but unsurprisingly, the CM is now trying to divert the blame to Umno for the Tunnel SPV.
No one can forget the numerous joint press conferences that Guan Eng had with the Tunnel SPV nor the dozens of press statements that Guan Eng had issued to defend the Tunnel SPV over the years.
He simply cannot wash his hands off the SPV like this and the severely lop-sided project that will eventually cost the Penang people tens of billions of ringgit in losses.
It is your scandal and DAP's scandal. Do not try to hide.
We also note that Guan Eng had earlier said that the state government has not been in communications with CRCC and hence not able to confirm if it had only been paid only RM3mil since the project started and has stopped work.
If Guan Eng is to be believed then this is the first time in history that a "competent and accountable" government had awarded a multi-billion project to an unqualified new company which he alleges is close to their biggest political rivals that the state govt has no communications with as well as having no communications with their master contractor too.
Other than his staunchest supporters, nobody in their right mind will believe Guan Eng's new story.
In a final act of desperation, Guan Eng then ended his statement by recycling excuses and allegations including the flimsy excuse that the state government had not paid a single cent or a single square inch of land to either Zenith or the contractor for the tunnel.
Such an excuse can fool a DAP supporter but will not fool any rational Penang citizen who knows that the RM6.34 billion project was awarded as one project which includes the tunnel and the 3 roads.
It is now common knowledge that he state government had already paid RM220mil for reports for the 3 roads - or a reports cost of RM11mil for each km of road, which is a staggeringly high sum for just reports.
Guan Eng also continues to blame BN for "sabotaging this public interest project that seeks to alleviate traffic congestion in Penang." but does not mention that BN does not need to sabotage the project as the DAP Penang Government itself had already failed to even start any construction of any roads or tunnel even after 5 years.
Instead of coming up with illogical excuses, blaming others and making a fool of himself, Guan Eng should admit that the DAP State Govt under him has awarded a mega-billion project to an unqualified that was just 82 days old at time of award with terms that are heavily lop-sided and has failed badly to manage the project.
Guan Eng should also come out to explain that if RM22mil was paid in an attempt to cover-up corruption, what is the actual total of corruption involved that needed to be covered up.
If Guan Eng is still unsatisfied with me, instead of cowardly calling me such names as "despicable human being" via press statements, perhaps Guan Eng can be man enough to challenge me to a public debate on the Penang Tunnel.