MACC ‘tying up loose ends’ in undersea tunnel project probe

(NST) – INVESTIGATION papers on the RM6.3 billion Penang Undersea Tunnel project is in the final stages of completion and will be submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) soon.

Sources close to the investigation told the New Straits Times that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was tying up loose ends before handing over the investigation papers to the AGC for advice and the next course of action.

The source said there were only certain witnesses left whom they needed to call before completing their probe.

“As far as we are concerned, we have finished calling up all the witnesses needed in Penang.

“The few remaining witnesses left to be called are all based in the Klang Valley.

“After that, we will wrap up the investigation papers and submit them to the AGC. We will then wait for the AGC’s advice on the next course of action,” the source said.

The source added that the graftbusters were happy with the progress of their investigation into the matter thus far.

“It (the investigation process) is going smoothly.

“All the witnesses called had been cooperative throughout the course of our probe,” the source added.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow was the final VIP from the state to be called to have his statement recorded on Tuesday, where he spent about four hours with the investigators.

He had said that most of the questions asked were about the undersea tunnel project. He was also asked to confirm decisions made at the state executive councillors’ meetings about the project.

Last Friday, MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki had said that they were in the final stages of investigation into the undersea tunnel project, and that investigators were expected to wrap up the investigation papers within the next two to three weeks.

He had said that investigation into the controversial project was never closed but slowed down since March due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The NST had recently reported that the MACC had relaunched its investigation into the undersea tunnel project following new evidence which it received on the matter.

The latest round of investigation saw the arrest of a high-ranking official from Penang Port Commission. He has since been released.

The project had courted controversy in the past, especially over its RM305 million feasibility studies, as well as the nearly two-year delay in its completion.

The ambitious project consists of four components, including three road projects measuring 30km and an undersea tunnel, costing an estimated RM6.3 billion in total.

Last March, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin (pic) had named several Penang DAP leaders and state government officials, who he alleged were involved in corrupt practices involving the project.

He claimed that he was given a 200-page document by an individual at the MACC, and that he would produce extracts of its contents in several installments online to expose the matter.

In April last year, a businessman who was implicated in a scandal related to the tunnel project was slapped with 68 money-laundering charges involving RM11.4 million.