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A view of Gurney Drive, Penang. The Penang government was today told to stop with the lies over the controversial proposed RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project. Pix by Ramdzan Masiam

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government was today told to stop with the lies over the controversial proposed RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project.

Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications (BNSC) deputy director Datuk Eric See-To said amid allegations of massive kickbacks reported by the media, the state government continued to lie that not a single sen and not a single inch of land was given as payment to the project's special purpose vehicle.

See-To insisted that two plots of valuable seaside land had in fact already been given.

He said the announcements, from a listed property development company believed to be link to the project, to Bursa Malaysia in early 2015 proved that the state government was lying and continues to lie.

The group managing director of the listed company was recently arrested and remanded for 11 days by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as part of their probe – one of four people arrested so far.

"The first announcement was dated March 31, 2015 and clearly stated that the Penang government had 'alienated' (given) land to a joint-venture company between the tunnel company and the listed company.

"Not only was the land given on Feb 17, 2015, but planning permission was given by the state government on March 30, 2015.

"Not a single sen was paid and not an inch of land was given? Stop with the lies already, Penang government," he said in his latest posting on Facebook.

Additionally, See-To said, not only was permission given to plan so quickly, the second announcement said their building plans for two blocks of 40-storey luxury condominium were approved on April 7, 2015 – just eight days later.

"This is probably a world record in efficiency," he pointed out.

See-To added that this was just the first of the two plots of state land given as RM208 million payment by the Penang government to the special purpose vehicle to do reports.

"This particular plot is valued at RM133 million, and they are already constructing the RM800 million gross development value project on it as the state government has enhanced the value of the land by giving it building approval quickly and increasing the developing density (increasing the number of units allowed to be built) from 30 units per acre to an incredible 155 units per acre.

"All in all, 570 units of condominiums will be built with each unit costing RM1.5 million and above," he asserted.

Last Friday, investigators found that several politicians had received significant amount of money in the approval process for the project’s studies.

Sources believed the money was received as a result of wrongdoings and graft by several parties involved in the implementation of the mega infrastructure project studies.

“There are politicians who received between tens of thousands to several millions of ringgit for their cooperation.

“For now, we are trying to trace how the wrongdoings were committed and the payments made.

“However, we believe it may be linked to the two land involved in the land swap deal as payment for the studies, which are of high value,” sources close to the investigation had revealed, without going into great details.

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