Penang undersea tunnel project cleared to proceed after MACC probe

Earlier this month, construction on the Penang undersea tunnel was suspended after Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) arrested businessman G. Gnanaraja. The suspect falsely claimed to help the project’s main contractor settled an MACC investigation on the RM6.3 billion mega tunnel project.


With his Datuk Seri title revoked by the Pahang palace recently and his subsequent arrest, the MACC green lit the project to resume its course of action.


However, Gnanaraja pleaded not guilty to the suspicion of collecting a total RM19 million in multiple instances from Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC). Reports revealed the payments were made somewhere between July and August 2017.


Top issues on the island’s third bridge mostly cover Gnanaraja’s money laundering offences and his arrest by the MACC.


Malaysia, Malaysia Indicator, Penang, undersea tunnel, MACC


Malaysia, Malaysia Indicator, Penang, undersea tunnel, MACC


Suspicion about the corruption arose when blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin wrote about the allegations on Malaysia Today. Following this, politicians started to comment on the issue.


MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong believes Zenith Construction was discredited and expressed concern over the company’s control on the bridge project. He was also surprised why the recommencement of the project was announced by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow instead of the MACC.


Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak also made it into the influencers list. Najib urged former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to clarify the graft allegations made against him by Raja Petra regarding the tunnel project.


In response, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad called Raja Petra a constant liar, dismissing the graft allegations.


Although positioned at the top of the list, Lim Guan Eng refrained from making many statements about the incident. However, the media was active in quoting Lim, using his argument with the former PM in the past as material.


As for MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki, he was the one who announced Gnanaraja would be charged at the Shah Alam Sessions Court, hence his name is on the influencers list.


While Gnanaraja was arrested, no action was taken on the construction company’s director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli. Instead, a letter was sent to Zarul and Zenith Construction before MACC closed their investigation.