malaysia

BN: Penang government just making excuses over excessive consultancy fees

Datuk Eric See-To (pic) said BN believes many of the 'excuses' given by the Penang government are not valid, inaccurate and unjustifiable. — Picture courtesy of Eric See-ToDatuk Eric See-To (pic) said BN believes many of the 'excuses' given by the Penang government are not valid, inaccurate and unjustifiable. — Picture courtesy of Eric See-ToKUALA LUMPUR, June 25 — The Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications (BNSC) team refused today to accept the Penang government’s “excuses” for the alleged over-payment of consultancy fees for the construction of three roads.

BNSC said it has made a preliminary assessment of the reasons given by Penang state local government committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow, who reportedly admitted to a 17.6-per cent overpayment instead of 400 per cent as alleged by BNSC.

“We believe many of those excuses given by the Penang government are not valid, inaccurate and unjustifiable,” BNSC deputy director Datuk Eric See-To said in a statement.

“The bottom line remains that the Penang government has rushed to fully pay a staggering total of RM209 million in fees for three highways of just 20km in length (or almost RM11 million per km in fees alone) — none of which has started construction as yet despite a multi-year delay,” he added.

Chow reportedly denied yesterday the allegation that the Penang state government had paid four times higher than the gazetted scale of fees for professional engineering consultancy for three paired roads linked to the undersea tunnel project.

Local daily theSun reported Chow as saying that the state government did not overpay and that the civil and structural consultancy fee was RM64.3 million, not RM177.5 million as alleged by BNSC director Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

Chow reportedly said the consultancy fee for the three roads and tunnel merely comprised 1.86 per cent of the entire project costing RM5.49 billion, lower than the gazetted scale of fees of a maximum of 2.54 per cent for projects over RM1 billion as imposed by the Board of Engineers Malaysia.

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