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Penang bridge builder slams claims


GEORGE TOWN: The China-based company involved in the construction of the Second Penang Bridge has slammed allegations linking it to the collapse of a bridge in China.

CHEC Construction (M) Sdn Bhd project director Fang Zhen Ru said the company had been inundated with queries and accusations over the matter since concerns about the safety of the second link was raised.

Although he did not say who raised the concerns, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had issued a statement on Sunday calling on the Federal Government to conduct an immediate safety audit on the RM4.5 billion Second Penang Bridge.

Lim had said the safety audit should be conducted by independent and qualified professionals and a report submitted soon.

The DAP secretary-general had also been quoted as saying that the audit should be done following the collapse of the Harbin Yangmintan bridge in China.

Fang said yesterday CHEC had been falsely blamed for being responsible for the collapsed ramp structure in Harbin.

He said such a baseless allegation had cast doubt on the engineering work and construction quality of the company's projects.

"We are here today to make one point very clear: CHEC has nothing to do with the collapsed bridge ramp structure in Harbin.

"The collapsed bridge ramp was not our project. The official report from China clearly stated that the collapsed bridge ramp had nothing to do with CHEC," he said.

Fang added that CHEC had actively contributed to the development of Penang for decades.

"CHEC has been wounded by the unfounded and careless remarks and allegations," he said.

Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd, has welcomed any audit into the design and construction of the bridge.

Its managing director Datuk Dr Ismail Mohamed Taib said: "As the owner and concessionaire of the bridge, we agree on the need for a thorough check on the contractors and consultants involved to ensure the construction of roads and bridges are carried out to the best of standards."

State Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said he had written to the Works Ministry to conduct an immediate safety audit on the Second Penang Bridge.

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