Controversial figure in Penang undersea tunnel company quits

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A key figure in a consortium that won the concession to build the RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel and three highways in Penang has quit his post as CEO of the company.

Susan Loone/Malaysiakini

Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, an Umno member, confirmed the matter, saying he quit the company in December last year.

Zarul, 60, has been implicated in the new graft trial of former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng relating to alleged bribery charges involving the project.

Lim’s trial is set to begin in June this year, where Zarul is expected to be a key witness.

When asked if this were the reason for his departure, Zarul replied: “I quit because I cannot contribute to the company anymore.”

The undersea tunnel project was controversial from the onset, drawing intense criticism from environmental NGOs, but Zarul fiercely defended the initiative.

The company, Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd, comprised Zarul’s Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd, Beijing Urban Construction Group Co Ltd (BUCG), Juteras Sdn Bhd, and Sri Tinggi Sdn Bhd.

In 2016, BUCG was booted out of the project after a crane operated by the company fell and crushed a woman in her car.

Zarul’s fate also went south in January 2018 when he was arrested and remanded for 11 days by the MACC after a series of raids over the project.

The 7.2km tunnel project which connects Persiaran Gurney to Bagan Ajam in Seberang Perai is under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

It is learnt that the 2013 project is set to resume after a Kedah-based developer takes over the construction through the purchase of majority shares in the company awarded the project. – Malaysiakini