Second Penang bridge: RM780m for 13.2km road upgrade?


Is spending RM780m to upgrade three roads – reportedly with a total length of 13.2km – the best way to use precious public funds? Wouldn’t that money be better spent on public transport and sustainable transport?

The RM780m works out to RM59m per km. Looks high to me. But even if you consider that to be not excessive, why can’t the federal government invest more in public transport in Penang? That’s the problem with our system. By right, transport and public transport should come under the purview of the state and local governments.

According to a report in the Malaysian Insider

To overcome possible traffic congestion when the bridge is completed, the federal government has also approved a RM780 million upgrade for three main roads linking the bridge on the island.

The three projects involved the 4.5km federal road linking Batu Maung to Penang, 6km road linking Batu Maung to Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah and a 2.7km road linking Teluk Kumbar to Bayan Lepas.

Work on all three projects will start by the end of this year and is expected to complete, in stages,
within an 18-month period.

And incredibly enough, we still don’t know what the toll for the second bridge is going to be. The bridge authorities are in a real conundrum – price the toll too high and few people will want to use the second bridge. The cost of the bridge itself has soared from pre-construction estimates.

And why didn’t they think of a rail link?

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  1. Before 308, we call this a scandal. Now we call it a project. Just because of the obsession to defeat BN, now we are willing to sacrifice everything including twisting a scandal to become a project. I just can’t image what the future would be.

    • Project finalised n agreement sealed between federal n UEM/CHEC. even before LGE comes to be the CM. Why suddenly he be blamed ?

  2. Private transportation is one big business but public transportation system is not.

    Cars + road building + tolls needed to bring up the GDP, more importantly public projects, lands price manipulation, car APs, protons, too many political leeches/rent-seekers are there to defend this gravy trains- private transportation.

    You want public transport, you must first kill the rent-seeking system, changing the set of leaders is a start, but too many are clinging to the old ‘system’ to survive, some of them are no ordinary peoples. It would happened tomorrow, but press on, we will be there…

    • Mad-Hattertir & SemiValue made a complementary combi for the daily cross-promotion of Proton, Plus highways, everyday-pay-tolls & surreal car sales tax (that never comes down) for almost 2 decades.

      No wonder Lim Seng Seng & Penang Municipal buses, in the mantras of privatization were rendered to the scrap metal yards of Kerala never to serve Penangites who had enjoyed the almost punctual bus services of the 50s to late 80s.

      No wonder Proton, an acronym for “Problems By The Tons” can still ‘barely float’ with 2 over-sized buffalo nostrils (not 4WD snorkel) barely above the Petronas rich oil spills in Langkawi coves.

      Malaysia Boleh Berbelanja Maksima!

  3. Let me remind everyone, this 780mils project is nothing but merely a political game, Jibjib government has less than 6 months.

    There is choice for Penang state government. Take the bait, it will be easy job but give jibjib excuses … of actual budget allocation of Penang : taking away $100 from Penang tax payer but only return $10 and ask Penang-ties be grateful.

    Refuse the bait, and draw another transit plan to transform Penang, for example, Ong Eu Soon blog does give preliminary skeleton for such plan. Although I do not agree of getting government involve too much on “bicycle sharing”. However, instead of subsidies the monopolies bus company, Penang government should have make use of the same money to give “early bird” incentive to those who use bicycle to works, especially those looking for alternate transport such as electric bicycle.

    Call it a gamble. In my opinion , good politician and administrator must know when to take the move. Populism is never safe, making people realise the Penang bridge sunk cost and enact a sustainable future will lock more people heart.

    Most Malaysian that get used to “car mentality”, in this case, Penang driver, definitely not happy if Penang government reject the 780 mils “upgrade” while roll out “sweating” alternative transit.

    However, it is matter of vision drawing and selling it. Convert road to bicycle lane sounds “backward” , not until everyone learn the price to pay for their car : loan, interest fees, petrol, health,housing price,

    There is 2 pictures :
    1. 780 millions 2nd bridge that charge EXPANSIVE TOL ,which is no less than RM20 per day, while Penang government must “help serving some loan” of tens of millions annually. And nobody can live on this 780 millions bridge, no matter how costly the bridge.


    2. Promote the new private light electric transit such as electric bicycle, enable safety lanes for it, give incentive to new business associate to it, MAKE government servant use it,etc. Then show how one using the bicycle, can really STOP at middle of the “old bridge” pits for whatever reason, not mentioned even small TOL fees will help compensate some of the old bridge maintenance, while in fact, vehicle less than 200kg deal almost no dent to the road, unlike SPV, lorries, etc.

    Then give a value comparison of “live in Penang without a car” .

    Don’t forget that senior citizen that are too old and too dangerous to drive their car themselves, will enjoy a safe route using a much electrical trishaw/rickshaw, to go visit shop/gardens/friends around 2-5km away. And ALL pedestrian can have a safer street there is slow and light vehicle around. Less petrol vehicle also means lower air pollution, which directly translate to health improvement.

    When the light vehicle can bring one to the working place, there is no rush compare to car drivers that need to wake up 2 to 3 hours early to evade the traffics. This is not just 35-45 minutes riding course, but also mean parent can let some of the growth up take their own light vehicle to school in a safe and lean way.

    In addition, the land “give way” to bridge to build a “bridge entrance”, may used to build more house, recreation,etc.

    And compare to the 2nd bridge, most of the alternate transit plan can be materialise in less than 3-5 months, way before the general election.

    And don’t forget, a “bicyclise” (whether electrify or not) society will mean LESS ah beng and mat rempit on the street Sane … parents definitely don’t like their children become mat rempit.

    • When lgE was in the opposition, he won’t let this thing happen. Now he is the cm, he openly accepted this project without any hesitation or question. If we don’t make him accountable, are you suggesting that we make him an opposition leader, so that he can fight vigorously for us?

  4. Anil, I agree that this project is exorbitant and 780 million could be better used for public transport. But the fact is that the money is coming from the federal govt. The state is just taking whatever they can get. If the fed govt says “I give you 780 million and you do what is needed with it” then we have a choice. In this case they are saying “I am going to upgrade this road for 780 million, do you want it or not, if you say no, don’t complain that you are not getting anything”. So there isn’t much choice but to accept it.

    Someone here mentioned something about tree cutting to make way for road widening projects. Now this is something I am against simply because these trees are part of our heritage, serve to provide shade, oxygen and makes Pg green and livable. Take that away and we will be like Jakarta, Bangkok and Delhi. Also, the money used to widen roads can be more effectively spent on public transport like trams etc. Sg does not chop their trees down, in fact they grow more and more trees and yet they can develop their city very well and accommodate a world class transit system. Why can’t we do that, or at least try to do that? Orchard road was widened, paved and even had an MRT built underground amongst the giant trees lining both sides of the road. These trees are still present today as it was 50 years ago and provides shade for pedestrians. And guess what, it is not jammed with traffic despite being the no. 1 shopping district in SEA. Pg on the other hand is planning to chop down trees from Udini roundabout to green lane, some of which have taken more than 20 years to grow.

    • the trees along green lane and jalan udini will be made way from the road expansion. From shell petrol station to the udini round about, total about 80 trees will be affected. The state government want to evacuate about 60 trees which will have no chance of survival.

  5. Hi everyone,

    If a project is not exorbitantly priced, it is then NOT a BN mooted project!

    The Second Penang Bridge project, like other projects approved by the BN Federal Govt to the states, particularly PR-run states, is just the usual “take-it or leave-it” ultimatum by the Federal Govt to the State!! Moreover, the awarding of all tenders are made by the Federal Govt with either little or no consultation with the state concerned! Hence, it is no surprise that the Second Pg Bridge project is overpriced with awards of tenders to UMNO Baru’s crony companies.

    Other examples would include the Pg Hill Fast Tram project and the Botanical Gardens Arches and Expansion project by the Tourism Ministry, with the former’s frequent break-downs affecting Penang’s image to local and foreign tourists, hence instead of promoting tourism in Pg, the Tourism Ministry is doing the exact opposite!

  6. Have to look at the details whether it includes any exit/entry ramps/bridges which are expensive but its sounds high even then. Satu lagi project BN. Biasa-lah..

    I keep saying. Get rid of UMNO/BN – 4 years definitely save like RM200b easy – give most of it away for lower petrol, wipe out PTPN, 20% oil royalty to states even add Kelantan past dues. etc and still got like RM100b to spend on development..

  7. Daylight robbery…Now I am convinced that BN is convinced that they will lose the election and hence make hay while sun shines. Outright ridiculous…..when they lose, they are going to leave behind a very bankrupt Malaysia

    • If ever Putrajaya changes leadership, this ‘unthinkable’ spending of Satu Lagi Projek (SLP) Pok Khai should be scrapped & thrown into the Straits of Melaka. And the smart alecs should be hauled up for questioning till Kingdom comes.
      Meanwhile, Penangites should reflect on this Penang Hill Speedy Gonzales Fridge Train SLP fiasco after fiasco which has brought a truly undesirable bad reputation to Penang tourism, not timely tourism money of good night’s sleep.
      Time to pay taxes with careful cent by cent consideration of this … leeching unmatched even by the daily combined outflow volume of Niagara Falls!

      • AES lgE can stop but this exorbitant road expansion he can’t stop. Image the trees along jalan masjid negeri all gone, and you probably end up have two extra lanes that will only fasten the traffic jam at scotland road, jalan utama and the jesselton

  8. Dear Mr. Anilnetto,

    Out of topic, but, just to know what is happening.

    Do you know car prices are crashing? Or is it due to year end offer?

    Honda Accord less RM17,000
    Camry, less at this point of time 7,000 and another 3,000 deposit discount.
    Mercedes E class less Rm30,000
    Mercedes S class less RM 100,000 per unit.

    Even Proton has come in with its year end offer of RM7,000 for some models?

    Has the bubble burst?

    • Hmmmmmm…. brings to mind what Rafizi said – “Don’t buy new car yet… when Pakatan comes to power, car prices will come down!”

      Any link to the big-time discounts?

  9. Knowing that lgE will end up wantonly spending our money on unsustainable solution, I have drafted my Penang Citizen Alternative Transit initiative as a move to pre-empt the state government. The proposal is full of critical criticisms against lgE, but while I spit out the venom, I also give lgE a chance by giving him a solid sustainable solution to solve the traffic woes. Majority of readers who read my proposal are blinded by the hatred expressed in the article but can’t see the true value of the initiative. Since I have made a conclusion that lgE is good for nothing, I wrote this initiative with the ultimate aim to defeat him. So if he doesn’t like it , it is all the better. Time have proven that lgE is never smart and has become a self defeat and destructive leader on the path to extinction.

    • You are too good lah Eu Soon. You admit spitting venom, you openly show your intense hatred for LGE and everyone who don’t agree with you are too stupid, people without intelligence. You too good. I would suggest you stand against LGE in the next elections and prove your mettle. I wonder what will happen to us Malaysians without intelligent people like you.

      • RM780m for a 13.2km road you don’t bother, you bother about I call other stupid! Those associated with the famous Penang NGO finally shown their true color. Why vote for change when there is no change? Why vote for a well proven incompetent leader just to defeat BN? Penang become the weakest link of PR is not my making, it is the consequences of lgE’s own wrong doing. What a shame Sarajun! The best you can do to defend lgE is to launch a personal attack against me.

  10. The RM780m works out to RM59m per km!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This is Absolut Vodka ridiculous, if not dizzying from blurred vision of unfocused spending of Ah Kong’s limited monies.
    One metre of this type of tarred road works out to Rm59,000 is any AG’s suspicion to call for an investigation. Or is it mixed with gold?
    Aren’t our politicians questioning this ridiculous spending of yet another Satu Lagi Projek Yang Akan Pok Khai Negara Cinta Ku?

    Drinking Kopi-O kau kau keeps me down to earth with my hard earned scarce money of blood, sweat & tears.

    • Don’t forget all the old trees have to make way for the road expansion. Yet there is no where this expansion will solve the traffic problem. How many time we should repeatedly tell the state government that road building and expansion are not the right solution. We need a better public bus transit system to solve the problem. The RM780m is sufficient enough to implement the proposals in my Penang Citizen Alternative Transit Initiative. lgE as well as the great Anil, all have no brain to appreciate what I have proposed. Read my initiative at

      • Ong, this is another Fed’s Satu Lagi Projek in the same … vein of heart attacks as the tilting arches of Botanic Gardens fiasco.
        I don’t think or suspect LGE has a say in this ‘tua khai, tua s’ng’ spending of no justifiable returns to pragmatic Penangites.
        This amount of monies should be spend on public transits like trams, buses & shaded roads.
        Cheers, Kopi-O kau kau.

      • Now as the cm, lgE can’t oppose any thing any more? Just accept anything from the fed and keep the mouth shut up? Or we should make him an opposition leader, so that he can always has his say? One 13km bike lane cost RM70m. Now another 13km road upgrade not a brand new one cost rm780m, all those politicians surely think that we are all sui yi (water fish).

  11. Another myth busted. Actually BN government is not stingy with Penangites. BN takes care of all Penangites.

    With CRAZY development under LGE admin, we have no choice but to ease the traffic congestion EXPENSIVE WAY.

    Undilah BN

    BN [x] – Pakatan [ ]


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