I was on the road today and, looking at the traffic, I couldn’t help wondering what the Penang government’s plans are to ease congestion in the state.

Surely, there is an urgent need to engage a planning expert come up with a blueprint for sustainable transport management, which would also include pedestrian-friendly streets, cycling lanes, buses, other forms of public transport, and ferries. A masterplan should be drawn up to plan the traffic corridors and ensure that future property development projects  fit into this blueprint.

So here are some questions for the state government:

  • Is it thinking of engaging a sustainable transport planning expert?
  • Does it have a budget for this? And if so, how much?

  • If it has plans to engage a consultant, would the process be done transparently and with an open tender in line with CAT?
  • Would the consultant be independent of vested corporate interests and transport infrastructure projects?
  • Would the consultant have an excellent track record of sustainable transport involvement – without any past association with crony, discredited or unsustainable projects (such as the PGCC)?
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13 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with BK Ong. Just get it done and stop finger pointing at Koh Tsu Khoon. That’s past now. And stop giving the Penang public excuses about why things are not done. If we wanted excuses, we would have voted for BN.
    We, the Penang people, voted for DAP because we wanted new and better management. DAP has no track record but we voted in trust that they’d do better than BN.
    I have no hope that they will deliver.

  2. Since MM Lee Kuan Yew was not “impressed” by the infrastructure in Penang etc, why doesn’t the state government just “invite” experts from the other island down south to do some consultancy FOC?? 🙂

  3. yeah , pakatan covering up face by saying NO MONEY LA, BN DID HELL LA, hmm.. move onla… first step, save kampung buah pala(high chaparral), nthng new about this transport thingy anil, politicians are politicians..

  4. Aiyah. Why spent so much money? Just employ a clerk and let him come out with something. This is Malaysia, mah.

  5. Anil

    For your information, the State Government has (slowly) come forward with a State Public Transport Council that will discuss the planning and operations of public transport in the state.

    At this point I do not think that the state government is seriously engaging any traffic planners or consultants beyond the government staff that they already have.

    The last consultant that they engaged (if I recall correctly) was the one that proposed that the “Aerobus” (for some reason they call it “Aerorail” in Malacca) was the solution for Penang’s public transport problems.

    TRANSIT has come up with a proposal to improve the governance of public transport in Penang, which can be seen here:

    This proposal was forwarded to CM Lim Guan Eng in June 2008 and we have received no response or feedback since.

    Sincerely

    Moaz Yusuf Ahmad
    on behalf of TRANSIT

  6. halo Anil,
    Good you suggest doing something about traffic jams and public transports-but we don’t need more consultants! Penang has already has a string of consultants -from JICA, Halcrow, Perunding Traffic Klasik to a number of other more ad hoc expert advice given at hundreds of transport conferences and workshops around the country. It is time to act if the political will is there. Eg what happen to the dedicated bus way/lane idea which the State Government agreed earlier-before it considered that car users should be given more consideration? See : it is not lack of good idea (very concrete and detailed plan available)-it is the lack of will.

    Ong BK
    Bus Users Group

    Dear BK, I agree with your point on appointing not another consultant! But I believe most of these studies were carried out by conventional consultants focusing more on conventional transport (highways, bridges, ring roads, etc) and private vehicles rather than detailed sustainable transport plans such a pedestrian-free zones, bicycle lanes, buses, light rails including tram options and water-based transport. I think we need someone with experience and a solid track record in sustainable initiatives to come up with a sustainable transport masterplan. cheers Anil

  7. Has anyone read the State Structure Plan? A sustainable traffic and transport plan has to integral to the Local Plans… has there been public consultations on this? The first task of a responsible government is to plan for the future of Penang…but if it appears to be incapable of doing so, then civil society has to come forward.

  8. Andrew,
    Well, it’s easier said than done. DAP led government has been in power for 1 1/2 years. Naturally, the buck got to pass to Tsu Koon’s government. They has been government for 18 years. Where were you, Andrew for that precious 18 years? You can’t survive in a private sector for such performance.
    Any politicians need to be seen as good. This is politics 101. You too need to be noticed in the private sector before being promoted. This is not tripod thingy. This is EQ lah….Perception is everything in politics

    Andrew,
    Since you are damned good, come up with a comprehensive plan

    People,
    Honestly because BN has ruled for so damned long 51 years. The seperation of powers between State & Federal government is somewhat blurred. Lee Kuan Yew & the gang were having the problems last time. They ended kenna booted. Since then they reserved grown, from 1 billion USD to 150 billion USD.
    It’s damned easy to talk…..I am not condoning Tsu Koon’s government…….Those jokers got 18 years & still can’t solve the problems…….
    First, we must define the tole of state government, local government & federal government clearly

  9. I think we need to get rid of “engaging consultant” syndrome for everything. I am sure there were many studies done for Penang traffic woes. We should find ways to re-use them.

    The government can take this opportunity to empower Penangites. For example, in each Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN), form some committee to get the local’s feedback on how to resolve in their own area. These ideas & feedback can then be deliberated and taken action upon by the government.

    • there are many research and studies that have been done by the architectural and urban planning student in universities, try to dig that out and search for better ideas not only from the expert consultants but also students as well

  10. Friend 🙂 Tom Gumby thinks he might fit the government bill for this like a black velvet glove and so is sitting here now dreamily cogitating about the size of the 8) reward for this Penang CAT position.

    How can he get a job application pack please?

    WE SAY YEAH! AND NO TO ISA! 😛 AND HARIS FOR AG & RPK FOR IGP! GOFOR DSAI FOR PM & LKS FOR DPM & KIND WAN AZIZAH FOR HOME MINISTER.

    2009 Resolution: Seek out all garbage and recycle or dispose post haste for a healthier life and planet!

    ADDENDUM: Protect coral reefs and save all the good fishies in the seas!

  11. Ha ha ha…! very funny to think that this DAP government has the peoples’ interests at heart. Lim Guan Eng, the PR Chief cry-baby in Penang is only interested in playing the blame game with Koh Tsu Koon. He has no time for other less trivial issues like traffic congestion, inadequate public transport, illegal hill-slope development, heritage conservation, etc. All he is keen is to ensure that he looks good in the media day in and day out. Ummm, provided it’s not the NST of course. But if the NST writes something nice about him, expect him to preen his feathers like an arrogant cockerel.

    LGE and his bunch of DAP assemblymen certainly did Penangites a favour by kicking out the BN. But they are now taking us Penangites for a ride with their non-existent CAT.

    In the meantime, let’s look to the next episode of the blame game from cry-baby LGE.

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