Public transport

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Photograph: The Malaysian Insider

I think the problem is that the more expensive the masterplan that the consortium comes up with, the more PDP (project delivery fees) it will be able to charge at 6 per cent of project costs and the more land reclamation that will be required by the state for sale to developers.

Anyway, this statement has just been released by Penang-based NGOs. Check out their concerns below:

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This was part of the discussion with the chief minister which focussed on illegal parking. Media reports described it as a “heated exchange”. You be the judge.

As has happened in the past, whenever Penang Forum committee members raise problems with the state government, they invariably are invited to take over or advise the state government or local council on the matter.

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Our guest contributor is Eric Britton, a sustainable transport expert who visited Penang a couple of years ago. He says, “The priority is not to further expand supply of inefficiently used infrastructure, but rather to manage and use it better.”

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Photograph: The Malaysian Insider

Under normal circumstances, I would be the first to support any plan to promote sustainable transport in Penang and Malaysia. Unfortunately, I cannot support the Penang transport masterplan as it stands for the following reasons:

1. BallooningĀ costs: The cost keeps ballooning even before it starts. RM27bn was already an astronomical figure. Now we are told it will be RM35-40bn (The Edge interview with the Penang chief minister). And that is excluding the tunnel, mind you. (A figure of RM6.3bn has been mentioned for that.) These are mega projects by any definition – and we used to criticise Mahathir for those, with justification. Whose idea was it to have a road tunnel, anyway?

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Graphic: The Star

The Penang Forum steering committee has just released this:

The chief minister of Penang recently used the accident on the first Penang bridge to justify his proposed RM27bn transport masterplan. This is disingenuous; it is like arguing that more highways are needed because of traffic jams caused by accidents on the North-South highway.