Works Ministry suspends talks over Penang’s third bridge proposal

Fadillah Yusof

(The Star) – The Works Ministry has suspended discussions on the proposed third bridge in Penang following the state government’s failure to submit documents on the project.

Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said no authority could approve such a costly project without sufficient documentation on the proposal.

“No authority in the world will be in a position to give approval in principle for a major infrastructure project costing billions with only a two-page letter sent to us by the Penang government.

“I am not sure if this is a standard practice in Penang but this is not what our ministry practises,” he said in a statement Monday.

He added that the Penang government’s application to build the bridge, which would link Gurney Drive on the island and Bagan Ajam on the mainland, has now been classified as “keep in view (KIV)”.

“I regret to note that despite four reminders and a final deadline by July 22, 2016, the Penang government has failed to submit the required initial documents to support its application.

“I am perplexed … as it had stated that the project studies costing up to RM305mil were 83% complete three months ago.

“This was to support their application and to assist our ministry to deliberate on the project,” he said.

Fadillah added that the failure to submit the documents by the deadline has led the ministry to believe that the application for the third bridge is no longer urgent.

“Accordingly we have written a letter to convey our decision and regret to the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng,” he said.