I am writing this in response to some news articles that have reported that the Penang State Government has paid RM115 million to HeiTech Padu Sdn Bhd for the Penang Smart Parking app.
I have read these articles and realised that they contain very misleading statements that I have to come out to clarify on. The misleading statement in particular that I am referring to is that they have implied that RM115 million had been paid to HeiTech Padu Sdn Bhd for the development of the app. This is a serious allegation that is false and very clearly meant to create controversy for the Penang State Government.
The facts are as such. There is no upfront payment of RM115 million given to HeiTech Padu Sdn Bhd. The State Government, MBPP and MPSP have not paid HeiTech Padu Sdn Bhd a single cent.
It is a Private Finance Initiative (PFI), where HeiTech Padu Sdn Bhd are fully responsible for the cost of implementing and operating the system. The State Government, MBPP and MPSP will not incur any capital or operational expenditures throughout the period of the contract, which is 7 years.
Throughout this 7-year contract, there will be a sharing of the parking fees collected between HeiTech Padu Sdn Bhd, MBPP and MPSP. The sharing ratios are 65:35 for the first 5 years and 60:40 for the last 2 years. HeiTech Padu Sdn Bhd will be taking 65% and 60% respectively over this 7-year time frame.
HeiTech Padu Sdn Bhd is fully responsible for the maintenance of the app and sensors throughout the contract. Upon completion of the 7-year contract, all assets will then be transferred to MBPP and MPSP respectively.
I am issuing this clarification not to defend HeiTech Padu Sdn Bhd, but to show that the State was responsible in its evaluation and did not take any unnecessary risks with public funds. I am as furious with HeiTech Padu Sdn Bhd as MBPP, MPSP and all Penangnites due to their inability to deliver at the standards that were expected of them.
I am however disappointed that news reports have not taken proper steps to fact-check their articles and have misrepresented the issue. I hope that they take responsibility to amend accordingly.
Councillor Sdr Nicholas Theng’s post on his official Facebook page: