GEORGE TOWN (Sept 29, 2008)by Himanshu Bhatt
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today he was confused by the former state government’s agreement to give RM33.18 million as “advance payment in the form of a loan” to IJM Corp Bhd for the Jelutong Expressway project.
Lim told reporters he was curious why the state had decided to give the amount in a 1997 agreement when it had already given IJM land for the project which cost RM672.2 million .
“In addition to giving land, the state has to give an advance. It does not make sense,” he told a press conference at Komtar here.
Lim said his confusion was compounded by the fact that IJM also owed the state RM24.1 million for payment of the 132ha land, which is supposed to be settled only after the state had given the advance of RM33.18 million.
“I don’t understand why they can’t settle both payments by contra,” he said when asked to comment on the non-payment by IJM to the state.
Lim said he needed to get more information from state government officers.
He noted that the state was supposed to give the RM33.18 million in stages over over five years from 2005.
Meanwhile, on MCA vice-president Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai’s call for Gerakan and MCA to merge, Lim said such a merger would only be cosmetic if the policies of the Barisan Nasional (BN) did not change.
“The problem is not Gerakan or MCA, the problem is the BN.” he said.
He also noted Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon’s statement that 60% of the party’s members were inclined to leave the BN.
“If 60% of the members want to the leave, why are they still stuck in the BN?” he asked.
“If they want a leader who doesn’t listen to their views, I wish them luck!," he added.