‘Not a corporate welfare project’
THE Penang Second Bridge is not a corporate welfare project awarded to UEM but a project to provide better traffic flow in the state, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk S.K. Devamany said yesterday.
Replying to the adjournment speech by Liew Chin Tong (DAP-Bukit Bendera), he said the government always had the interest of the people at heart and would put the people first before any development project.
He said this was also evident with the government’s decision to cancel its previous decision to appoint UEM Berhad as the concession company and appointing Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd, a special purpose vehicle fully-owned by the Federal Government.
He said this step was taken to ensure the operational and maintenance cost was kept at a minimum and the savings be returned back to the people in the form of competitive toll rates.
Devamany said an estimated RM9,150 million is expected to be saved through this model of implementation, through reduced operational cost and maintenance during the concession period.
He said UEM’s involvement in the project would be as a contractor and the agreed building cost was RM1.55 billion.
Earlier, Liew had said that the Penang second bridge was a corporate welfare project awarded to UEM and urged the government to discuss building costs with UEM as soon as possible.