Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 2.4.2017.
Sea reclamation works holding up the feasibility study for the under seabed tunnel project, is on the Butterworth side and reclamation work has still not commenced despite being awarded by the BN Penang state government in 1999. This Butterworth sea reclamation project is entirely different from the present reclamation project now undertaken by E&O Bhd group on the island since last year.
Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof should not mix up the E&O reclamation project on the island with the one on the mainland, located near to Penang Port in Butterworth involving 650 hectares, granted to Rayston Consortium Sdn Bhd. To date, Rayston is still carrying out its land reclamation master plan and the state government can only hope that they can complete it over the next 6 months.
Without the Butterworth sea reclamation masterplan, the feasibility study cannot be completed unless they take into account the hydraulic flow data and road network on the reclaimed land. Such data is required to avoid any overlapping. This is the reason why the tunnel feasibility study is only 87% complete and cannot proceed, whilst awaiting for the sea reclamation masterplan from Rayston. Let us reiterate that despite the 87% completion of the tunnel feasibility study, not a single cent has been paid to the consortium awarded the contract.
Fadillah has the right to seek an update of the feasibility studies on the tunnel, done to support Penang’s request for approval at our own cost to build a third bridge. The state government is willing to provide him with any information required. The Penang state government is willing to meet him to explain why replacing the under seabed tunnel with a third bridge for Penang is not only cheaper and more efficient but also technically possible.
A third Penang Bridge will enhance connectivity and Penang’s tourist attractiveness as an island of bridges, especially from an engineering standpoint. As a sign of our commitment, the Penang state government is willing to finance the cost of building the 3rd bridge and not charge toll to vehicles. Such a toll-free bridge will be the first in Malaysia.
The Penang state government is baffled as to why Fadillah is blaming the present state government for the delay in Rayston commencing on the sea reclamation project, when the contract was granted by the previous BN state government in 1999. We are as unhappy as Fadillah with the sea reclamation agreement done by the previous BN state government, as it was on terms that were unfavourable to the interests of the people of Penang
In seeking to look forward, the Penang state government is willing to meet with Fadillah next week to brief him fully on the facts, furnish any information required as well as welcome any Works Ministry professional expertise to assist Penang. We hope that an approval in principle can be granted by him first to Penang to build the third bridge so that we will not waste the tens of millions of ringgit(or more) required for the detailed drawings and design, if no approval is then forthcoming.
LIM GUAN ENG
—-Mandarin Version —