The Better, Cheaper, Faster alternative to a massive transport hub at Sia Boey


Take a good look at these images. This is what we could have at Sia Boey under the Better, Cheaper, Faster framework for transport in Penang.

It would bring public transport right to the front door of Komtar, which could be revitalised at a fraction of the cost of a massive transport hub.

Sia Boey trams alternative

But this idea might be too cheap a solution for those who favour mega projects … including an unwieldy multi-storey interchange with LRT and monorail lines on different floors of a massive concrete complex.

With the Better, Cheaper, Faster alternative, the old Sia Boey market could be turned into a tram station, like so:

Sia Boey trams alternative

Sia Boey trams alternative

Sia Boey trams alternative

And the rich heritage of Sia Boey could be preserved at the same time.

Sia Boey trams alternative

Sia Boey trams alternative

Sia Boey trams alternative

We could have the best of both worlds. What’s not to like about this?

P.S. A big thank you to those who designed these graphics.

READ MORE:  Sia Boey: Battleground for two competing visions of Penang
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    • Johor Sultan is cash rich with many business connections with many China firms.
      So such Maglev train could be a reality in Johor while Penang folks are still debating about tram vs LRT.

  1. “If I were the Transport Minister” Liew Chin Tong
    MP SPEAKS On Aug 21, Research for Social Advancement (Refsa) organised a talk by renowned architect Kun Lim in the Library for Social Democracy at the DAP headquarters, titled ‘City Design for People’.

    As Kun Lim was the concept master planner of Putrajaya, I had my doubts about whether the architect behind such a mega project would hold progressive views.

    I had my views on Putrajaya. In 2002, when I was studying in Australian National University, I took a course called ‘Psychological Perspective on Politics’.

    In one of the assignments for the class, I wrote about then-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Putrajaya construction mania.

    I later rewrote it as a chapter for a Chinese book, and in 2013 it was translated into a Malay book, ‘Putrajaya Milik Siapa?’

    During my research, I could not find the name of the planner behind Putrajaya’s concept.

    I concluded that it must have been conceptualised by Mahathir himself.

    I found out that Kun only publicly admitted his role in the drafting of Putrajaya’s conceptual plan after 2003, even then it was a not very well-known fact, confined to the circles of architects.

    Kun told the audience that the boulevards he imagined in Putrajaya were never meant to be the sprawling, massive symbols of power that point straight to the Prime Minister’s Office complex (the Perdana Putra Building).

    In fact, the original plans had buildings which were much humbler in scale. So my guess was not far off, Mahathir had a hand in designing many of the architectural details of the city which he envisaged would symbolise the wide-ranging centralised powers.

    Kun shared frankly about the challenges faced by architects in the tussle of ethics and compromises which involve power and money.

    His honesty was refreshing. From his sharing, he had a deep understanding of spatial and power tension.

    We share some similar views, particularly on the usage of waterways in cities.

    Kun had been involved in the design of monorail tracks before.

    The monorail was part of the stalled Kuala Lumpur Linear City project which aimed to build 12.4km of commercial building structures suspended above the Klang river.

    It was an idea proposed by a businessman to Mahathir during the 1990s boom era, but the project was shelved after the 1997 financial crisis. Only the monorail structure remained.

    In 1999 when I was working for the newly-elected MP Teresa Kok, I assisted in a case involving compensation for squatters who would be displaced by the KL Linear City project.

    Looking back, the project was a ridiculous product of its era.

    Now, Kun was talking about using waterways to reconnect the cannibalised road system.

    This is close to my idea, I always felt that Malaysia has placed too much emphasis on private cars and land transport, without opening our imagination to the possibilities that waterways could hold.

    I often said jokingly that the “railway tracks” of Penang are the water in the straits between the island and Seberang Perai.

    The federal government controls ferry transport, giving not much leeway for the state government to innovate this mode of transport.

    Ferries could be a new model to transport passengers between Johor and Singapore, too.

    Kun’s reflection on mega infrastructure projects such as the monorail are also close to my views.

    In Seattle, where he lives now, he pointed out that various modes of transport (bus, LRT, tram, bicycle paths, ferry) form a mutually complementary public transportation system.

    He joked that if public transport was only about building large infrastructure projects, one might as well pay residents to move out of congested downtown areas.

    I told him that my view was slightly more extreme. If I were the Transport Minister, my core policy would be to “pay people to take the bus”.

    Unlike Singapore or Hong Kong, our cities in Malaysia are not as dense. Busses, therefore, are the most flexible and lowest-cost means of mass transport.

    The easiest way to get people to take the bus is to begin from the policy standpoint that public transportation is a public good.

    In other words, if everyone takes public transportation, the roads will not be congested and there will be less carbon emissions, and there would be no need to build extra roads.

    Since it will benefit the whole society, the government accepts that subsidising the cost of public transport is inevitable.

    However, building public transportation heavy infrastructure involves great cost. By switching to a bus-based public transport system, it would save the government in terms of subsidies, hence they can afford to “pay people to take the bus”.

    This could be manifested in a free bus system or incentives such as lucky draw prizes for frequent bus passengers. There could be many ways to achieve this.

    Kun also talked about how economic inequality in cities is linked to a higher crime rate.

    Conversely, cities with a smaller income gap between residents proved to be relatively safer.

    An architect’s responsibility is to give voice to the dialogue between architecture and cities, in the process we will find our own language and formula for our cities. It is a beautiful dialogue.

    LIEW CHIN TONG is the MP for Kluang and Johor DAP chairperson.

    Note: Some of the good points for sustainable transport above are not meant to cross the line of DAP.

    • ‘Liew Chin Tong will never be transport minister’
      Liew Chin Tong is at it again trying to hoodwink the electorate by playing populist games. An absurd proposal by the DAP MP on Sunday reeks of populist politics and is devoid of any transport planning logic whatsoever. His proposal to ‘pay people to take the bus’ was cleverly conceived to pander to the frustrated urban commuters stuck in daily traffic jams.

      Selangor has since the beginning of this year provided free bus service in some of its most congested areas. RM12.5 million from the state have been paid to provide this free bus service. Have the people of Selangor seen any improvement in traffic levels in these areas? Why don’t the DAP take it one step further and pay people to work from home?

      It is sad to see that despite millions spent on free buses in Selangor, the traffic congestion still persists. Despite election pledges to promote public transport usage, the Selangor state government continues to approve new tollways in the Klang Valley and more high density projects along the most congested parts of the Klang Valley, evident from the record number of tower cranes dotting the landscape in Selangor.

      Being an opposition MP allows YB Liew a lot of creative and political freedom to wantonly propose harebrained ideas because him and his party does not need to show any tangible results.

      It is ridiculous to propose that taxpayers from the 12 states should pay some 2 million commuters in the Klang Valley to take the bus just so that it will make his daily commute more bearable. Why should rural taxpayers subsidise urbanites? Our tax money should be used to maintain and upgrade our infrastructure so that we can grow and develop at par with the urban areas.

      It is bad enough that the government is subsidising the highway companies to artificially depress toll prices when this money could be well spent on infrastructure development outside the Klang Valley. Now DAP expects the government to someone to use the bus?

      If DAP really thinks that this is a viable idea, why have they not tried it out in Penang? Have a trial run for a year and pay Penangites to ditch their cars for buses. Being one of the most fiscally prudent states, I’m sure CM Lim Guan Eng would not mind allocating a few million from his burgeoning state coffers to free his own Penang people from traffic jams. With a more than RM500 million budget surplus, Penang can definitely afford to pay Penangites to take the bus.

      In a few short years, as the island develops and grows at an exponential pace, this Unesco world heritage site would certainly benefit from a state government free bus system. That is, of course, assuming all that reclamation and development in Georgetown will not jeopardise Penang’s world heritage status.

      YB Liew should also consider writing another thesis to compare Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s with CM Lim Guan Eng’s construction mania in Penang. Many parallels can be drawn between these two politicians when it comes to grandiose infrastructure projects.

      In an address to a DAP national retreat earlier this year, YB Liew Chin Tong said that MCA, Gerakan and MIC have been dead since 2005 and arrogantly urged the electorate not to wake them up. It is obvious that he dreams of the destruction of the MCA so that one day he can take his place as the transport minister of Malaysia.

      My bigger fear is that even if MCA, MIC and Gerakan were to be totally obliterated at the polls, YB Liew Chin Tong will still not fulfill his dream to be the transport minister. Because far worse would have happened to race relations in Malaysia by then.

      KONG LEN WEI is a councillor of the Manjung Municipal Council and chairperson, Perak MCA Youth Young Professionals Bureau.
      Note: What frenzied development happening in Penang is no different from KL although Penang’s population is comparatively smaller & couples are not on rabbit-heat drive.

    • pay people to take buses? you can bark at mt komtar but why not at mt putrajaya? you can join marina chin at hilton jail for a week

  2. BN (UMNO) has created “SiaBoey Controversy” to sidetrack the attention to #MO1 ?

    Someone is laughing at the folly created ! if so

    • possibly ? in bolehland, semua pun boleh… from missing planes to coconuts and flying carpets !

      • Building above 250ft on the hills are already a possibility!
        Breaking its own land laws is possible, CAT laws in civil society is Apa Pun Boleh!
        Go back to Komtar Tower 28th Floor to ask “is it?” your political trader master, if you have not been brief completely.
        What a pity in perpetual self-denial.

      • jadi umno yg ikut semua undang2 ?

        takkanlah umno tak pernah membina atas bukit2 ! takkanlah umno tak pernah tebang pokok2 dan musnahkan rumah2 !

        inilah suara seorang yg memang dahagakan dedak 2.6 bilion yg diperbuat di Las Vegas ! wakakaka… bleh ‘high’ pulak tu !

      • takkanlah umno tak pernah tebus tanah besar-besaran ! takkanlah umno tak pernah buka lombong bauxit atau kilang pelupusan bahan radioaktif !….

      • Tun lang you love side tracks and side lanes… No wonder Anil insist tram with fixed tracks for you not to walkabout.

      • So UMNO can do, CAT Niao Kong also can do?
        Begini lah UBAH tak UBAH! Sama sama sekelompok! Cakap tak serupa bikin tapi shiok-shiok tipu 308!
        NYIAMAK …!

      • penang structure plans has been released. still barking at your recycled stories. you should study them and flawed them

  3. I appreciate the effort put in by you guys to present an alternative plan for the increasingly jam city but like some of the comments noted that there are many flaws and unanswered points needs to be further discussed. How can this tram system service the longer routes, the mainland and the mad traffic in and out of industrial area and air port? any upgrade readily available to service these people? in 5 years or 30 years time?

    • is a slow-moving tram able to service the 18km between Penang Airport and Georgetown ? how many arrivals in Penang yearly ? to the tune of 6.5 million ?

      is a tram coach capable of taking this capacity ?

      whats the point of having a tram line when KLIA and Changi have faster rail systems connected to the rest of these cities ?

      can a tram negotiate the infamous Penang traffic with over 1.6 million private vehicles ? mat rempits ? double parking ? reckless/drunk drivers ?

  4. And some rebuttal to some SMART points made by concerned folks:

    1) Both LRT/Monorail and Tram involves relocation of utilities.
    Answer: Partially true. Street-level tram tracks involve massive removal of many cables along the tracks; whereas elevated LRT/Monorail tracks can plan their pillars to reduce conflict with underground cables

    2) Both LRT/Monorail and Tram involves acquistion of land.
    Answer: Street-level tram needs 2 lanes to be acquired. Elevated LRT & Monorail only 1 lane

    3) SRS said Penang soils are soft, not suitable for building tram. Don’t tell me LRT is not heavy!
    Answer: Elevated pillars are reinforced structures so soft soil problems can be mitigated through careful planning. But street level tracks on soft soil poses risks of tracks sinking….

    • indeed. parts of SG soil consist of soft clay. yet how did they build MBS and some of the underground portions of the MRT ? careful soil engineering will be very useful for the elevated LRTs.

      thats the whole point here. Penang forum claims their tram costs between 80 million and 115 million per km ? did it include land acquisition ? digging works on roads ? insurance for underground utilities, if any ? do they dare to demolish houses and raise the ire of residents in the process ? how much land does PG have ?

      and once completed, will it be worth it ? a slow moving coach with limited capacityhaving to cope with 6.5 million arrivals yearly at the Penang Airport as well as more from the other end in Georgetown coming from ships or Penangites commuting for work ?

      or is it just a ploy to sabo PTMP ? with political temperatures climbing in bolehland, anything is possible.

      • It was Halcrow, the transport masterplan consultants, that recommended bus rapid transit and trams. And the state government then adopted the masterplan as its transport blueprint.

      • oh yes, just because Halcrow says so ! is Halcrow chosen to implement this PTMP ? have you checked Oxford/Cambridge/MacMillan for the meaning of ‘ESTIMATE’ ?

        have you consulted the real professionals at all and not just your small closed clique ? have you tried to buy those stretches of land yet ? how are you to pay this ? your own deep pockets ?

        on second thoughts, paying with your own pockets for your own obedience to Halcrow would be much highly appreciated !

      • Actually, the state government paid Halcrow RM3.2m for their expert professional recommendation.

        SRS are contractors, not consultants, with no expertise in trams and BRT. They were engaged to implement the Halcrow masterplan adopted by the state, not come up with a new masterplan.

      • Halcrow was engaged in the initial stages. but does it mean their estimates are to be followed every step of the way ? is Halcrow the only professional firm ?

        if a study has proven to be unrealistic, do you still insist on it ? did SG listen to the advice of the World Bank then ?

        is there not a difference between concept and implementation? as it is, PTMP is not even given the green light by umno !

  5. I figured I just leave some of the observations I made on Penang Forum’s BCF proposal so readers can evaluate for themselves (be informed readers). *I also shared this in Penag Forum’s Facebook page.

    1) Halcrow studies recommend 2-track street-level trams but this was deemed as not viable for 91% of the routes. In BCF proposal they suggested some street-level trams actually has 1 track on 1 road, and the 2nd track on another road (more or less parallel) due to many of the routes having 3 lanes or less only. There were some mentions of elevated trams but Penang Forum didn’t go into details….

    2) Accordingly, Penang Forum quote Halcrow Studies for elevated tram being 80Million/km *without considering cost of land acquistion* (yes Penang Forum mention that). They compare that with SRS’s quote that elevated tram is 220 Million / km (inclusive of land acquisition – this they didn’t mention)

    3) Later they quote leading tram manufacturers as quoting 83Million/km – 115Milion/km for tram *without considering cost of land acquisition & utility relocation… At this point I am uncertain BCF Proposal is proposing street-level tram or elevated tram…

    4) Penang Forum claimed the original Halcrow plan was only RM27 Billion, now ballooned to RM46 Billion. They did not mention that the original plan was for up to year 2030. The new plan extends the development coverage to year 2055 – the added LRT route + choice of LRT/Monorail over the underpriced Tram had increased the cost by ~RM10 Billion…

    5) Penang Forum also fail to mention that their proposal only covers the Public Transport section of the plan… in Halcrow original plan that’s a total of ~RM10 Billion, the new plan Public Transport is ~RM20Billion… (no official data released yet, but I was correct in estimating the cost of Airport LRT lines so I assume my guess is close )

    • one track on elevated sttucture one on road. like half bake soln. then to townside on road and balek side on elevated structure. pg forum wants people not in time for work but can go home. early going home

  6. Slowly, I start to doubt the real intention of that Penang Forum. Maybe they are too egoistic and never ever to admit any mistake no matter what ?

    • indeed. those ‘porfessionals’ in that ‘Penang forum’ have been trying to sound ‘holier than thou’.

      but at the end of the day, their ‘plan’ and unfortunately PTMP too will never see the light of day, thanks to their backstabbing the Penang govmen regarding Sia Boey. when that happens, we know who to ‘thank’. the possibility that this could be their plan all this while could not be discounted too.

  7. The pictures shown are no different from those typically depicted in glossy and fanciful pics on condominium brochures, very different in reality.

    • indeed ! have you seen BCF illustrations in its website ? oh the holy BCF, while all those elements of PTMP are vandalised with ‘creative’ street art ! thats an ‘intelligent study’ indeed !

      on another note, one wonders whether all that ‘creative’ four-letter graffiti we see everywhere are their handiwork. hmm…

  8. Is it really feasible to run trams from Batu Feringgi, Gurney Drive, Air Itam, Paya Terubong, Bayan Lepas, Batu Maung and Balik Pulau, and end up at this ridiculously unrealistic TWO LINE “”Hub”” at Komtar? TWO LINES? Seriously? For the ENTIRE Island? And we are not even beginning to talk about the Mainland, But as we all know, Island NGOs could not care less about the Mainland which does not “Exist”. I like to see Anil take a tram from Batu Feringgi to Komtar, so this tram does NOT have to stop at Traffic Lights right? Ok, assuming it does not stop at Traffic Lights, How fast does it travel so that if it hits a pedestrian, he/she does not die?

    Hmm, wonder why Anil Kapoor chooses to keep silent on the various obvious flaws on the above plan. If it is dreadfully slow and people have to change trams multiple times, and the park becomes a haunt for drug addicts and Mat Rempits and snatch thiefs, I suppose Khoo Salma, Lim Hui and the rest will quietly go back to asking their sons and daughters to drive them around.

    Go on then Anil, I am waiting for your usual magic ‘One Sentence’ answer to all my points above.

    • the whole tram system stops if a tram.has an accident with cars kapcais or pedestrians. mata2 will come and investigate taking one to two half hours. with the tram grounded other trams will stop too.

      • yes, and who is to blame when this happens ? the whole line being grounded, employees seeing their salaries fly away with every second ? then the line being dug up for repairs, potentially damaging all the utilities underneath ?

        when the dust settles, the people of PG will launch a revolt against CM lim mah kui… or at least kick him out of PG via elections. wakakaka…

    • indeed. how fast is a slow moving tram coach ? how many passengers can it carry ? how much is the land acquisition ? how many houses and shophouses is PG forum willing to sacrifice ? underground utilities ? traffic flow ?

      to this day, this BCF still cant provide the answers, as those behind the plan have yet to have a tram line built right in front of their houses !

      oh, and whatever happened to their Sia Boey conservation ? call in the UNESCO ? now they want this at Sia Boey ? what clowns they are !

  9. I dont think its fair for you anil to subject the population of penang to think that your tram is good when in actual fact you have not done in depth study and compared point to point with current State govt plans. You should only voice your dissatisfaction to the Penang State once you have solid evidence that trams can work sustainably. ie. did you pay for the halcrow report? or works of any experienced professional to come up with this idea?

    • Halcrow, the transport masterplan consultants hired by the state, were the ones who recommended bus rapid transit and trams.

      • LKY singland Gomen orso engage yankee consultant who recommend all bus service. But that was history but now they have buses and mrt but not tram. When pay peanuts, it produce … See how come halcrow’s cost for elevated structure or bridge is 88m/km and srs is 220m/km which is 4times difference . Gamuda is local contractor here. Question their cost.

      • to people behind the bcf, Halcrow is their one and only God. so they must obey all Falcrow’s ‘holy’ commandments, no matter the cost to the ordinary folks.

        then again, they dont have to worry about taking a tram, do they ? these retired ‘porfessionals’ can shake their legs at their luxurious, tranquil home in peace, while we the plebeians continue to suffer their consequences.

        oh, and how about Sia Boey ? so much hoo-haa about protecting Sia Boey, and now they want this ? hypocrisy to the max !

    • thats what happens when a ‘porfessional’ clique thinks they have ALL the solutions for THEIR island.
      just 1 clique of a few dozen ‘porfessionals’ with no engineering experience in the midst of 1.6 million Penangites !

  10. Penang Forum cannot just rely on to relay its intentions.

    Go for roadshow or may for a start set up an appointment with the public at Esplandae Speakers Corner?

      • Stop should not get personal with tunglang and vice versa.

        Both sit down peacefully yam seng or yam cha or yam kopi, and agree to disagree or disagree to agree, for the benefits of Penang political preferences aside, to brainstorm for brilliant ideas for implementation since the nation is already in crisis whether there is gold or silver or bronze.

      • i always bring facts. but tun lang bring his personal issues with komtar which he. does want to resolve. like what is the alternatives or solutions for penang if there is no development. he just attack will penang youth continue to stay in layback place or migrate to see the wotld. just look at ipoh. ipoh used to be third largest but now ???

      • tung lang with facts ? *scoff* since when he comes up with facts ?

        tunglang’s only ‘facts’ are his diatribes against the ‘dictatorial’ PG govmen, w/o realising his discriminatory umno govmen has done worse for almost 6 decades ! or is he just lapping up his master … ?

        anyway, Ipoh is still not as famous as PG. look at their airport : its nowhere near ours. but of course, thanks to macais like tunglang, PG will run the risk of falling behind JB too (as if KL wasnt enough) !

        since tunglang loves lapping his master, maybe he should espouse ALL the greatness of Iskandar for ‘Penang kampung dimwits’ like us. lets see how he polishes those ongoing land reclamation right next to SG, empty condos and cowboy-style crime levels.

      • The problem is the Georgie Bush type of attitude of “If you are not with us, you are against us”, no thanks to the CAT & Bunch of Arrogants of Toeing The Line.
        Just look at the past incidences of sacking & relegations of “dissidents” within the party. What UBAH is there to hope for a Malaysia Baru? What chance is there for new ideas to challenge obsolete practices (like unsavoury swap deals) is the holy mantra of CAT?
        This stinking political belligerence already has spread inside the intoxicated brains of minions & trolls. Nothing surprising of worshippers obsessed to the height of Davidian Cult.
        For decades, we were brought up to the now-functionally-outdated idea of a “Political Messiah” to save the nation starting with Anwar Ibrahim, a personality cult that to the ‘affected’ people has no real alternative to challenge but a personality worth to be worshipped more than their daily religious observance. So much so, the helplessness of fixation on politics of personality becomes their own grave addiction fix of surreal & no-solution proportion comes political contention & GEs. In an opposition realm, the hopelessness of lack of individualism of thought & common-sense prevails in those who believe it is a destined & Absolute Vodka political mission of their chosen personality idol not to be questioned, not even when questionable policies & dangerous developments were thrust down the throats.
        “If you are not with us, you are against us” will bring the Nation back to the era of McCarthyism, both within the political parties & within the ruling government at state & national levels. In Malaysian context, it is no different to the hunting of the “orang minyak” at the first thought of “who did it”.
        What is McCarthyism.

      • What talking? you always love bush but now you hate bush of George. Better don’t drive 4w drive you always irrelevant side track off topic. No wonder anil wants a tram for you to stick to the line of tropic

      • there it goes again all the barking. bark at what? not directly related but it show his frusco, granniness, wants to challege and personal issues with komtar.damien have a cuppa with him and tell to go see a heart doc. if he does not lisent, tell to contact vivica and become the SPEAKER of esplande close to State Assembly.

      • did you see tunglang coming up with brilliant ideas ?

        on the contrary, did you see tunglang lapping up his master ?

      • Of course you don’t need to come up with any idea, just wakakakakaka.
        Pls try harder another time or your pay master won’t be heard “Ooooh, Aaaaarrrg” loud & clear high above Komtar Walk!

      • Today, the Komtar Dedak Addict 2-in-1 worked too hard to do what they are fed to do – character assassination, which has no benefit to any reader but their Tokong.
        By all accounts of what they spewed, I still think they have not worked harder enough!
        If they want to question other’s point of view, is it any pain ..
        to counter with their own views or suggestions? Or it is a pleasure to just throw cat dirts at others which I think so of this 2-in-1 Troll approach.
        C’mon, Komtar Dedak is not free, why waste by way of a 2-in-1 Troll which creates more noise & distractions & paints a bad & foul picture of their pay master.
        A lot of copy-cat of other’s writing approach also shows one thing – a bankruptcy of ideas to present convincingly after a binge of Komtar Dedak?
        Or is it a 2 times-in-1 month M. cycle that kicks in an unstable emotion & depression esp. after a responsible letter to the UNESCO heritage body?
        I rest my words for the readers to judge their 2-in-1 combo of comments & wakakakakakakaka…

        Note: Komtar Dedak has a medical effect (hormonal & emotional) whenever an M. cycle kicks in.
        Consuming too much of it + uncontrolled emotional anger will biologically effect a change of gentlemanly hormone balance to that of ying (woman type behaviour) which can cause long term irreversible biological UBAH….

      • wakakaka… inilah akibat pemakanan dedak umno yg melampau… dah high sangat sampai tak de ‘fact’ langsung… inilah suara org yg dah menyerah kalah sebab terlalu ikutkan dedak umno sampai kehilangan otaknye !…

  11. This depiction is very misleading, because right in front of Komtar Walk there’s several shops, branching roads leaving very little space for wide pedestrians + trees as depicted.
    Also the path where the buses are drawn are perpetually parked with cars and any bus who drove in would have to drive out back to the 4 lane one-way road.
    Also, why a zebra crossing when there’s already pedestrian bridge nearby?
    Despite the overly idealistic drawing to show “space”, the route drawn is possible for BRT (but I wonder how many of them are on-level and how many is elevated, there’d be several challenges for making it on street level)
    Note: putting a BRT (single lane) in front of Komtar Walk is already a challenge and 2 lanes would be very difficult (because parts of the building almost touch the road…

    • thank you for facts. tun lang can only barks and wags. only generalisation. and events happen one in 100 years.

    • The shop lots in front of Komtar Walk belongs to the State Government. They were the very first attempt by this state government to revive the dying Komtar after 2008. I witnessed big trees coming down and concrete structures going up just a few years ago. The effort unfortunately has not been successful. Most of the shop units are still vacant today. It should not be an issue for these shop units to make way for BRT.

      • Yesterday, I saw a row of trees (more than 10?) next to & after 24hr McDonald & Caltex (if one is travelling towards Farlim) along Lebuhraya Thean Teik cut down to no leaves leaving just the sticking out branches!
        What the hell is happening to Greener Penang?
        Is this called tree pruning the easy & faster way out by contractors (no MBPP staff involved)?
        Hills are botak-ed. Now trees are also “botak-ed”.

      • First time you see botak trees? Trees in Penang have been clear since Francis light and chinese come to Penang. Even the house where you stay, trees have been cleared. You better go and tell Penang forum to preserve trees by staying in tree tops. Ask think city to design tree top houses. Apart from heritage city, Penang forum can make Penang renown as treetop city too. Next step, go and swing from tree to tree. No need cars and is faster to as one travels in air. Better than Tony’s everyone can fly. It will be tun lang’s everyone can have a swinging time.

    • indeed ! thanks for highlighting these ! trams need to be 2 way for an efficient system. but the drawing only shows 1 ?
      an alternative suggestion, they say ! obviously they have no engineering foresight !

  12. Has Penang Forum been successful in drawing out SRS Konsortium to debate this matter? Is SRS Konsortium still hiding in some tokongs somewhere?

    • debate which topic? topic in this caption is cheaper faster and better. less is clearly cheaper. but … how can it be faster when it is a shared road. better? tell us why it is better?

      • Shared Road? Zoro, my friend, please think it through. LRT and monorail need elevated tracks. These tracks do not just float on air. They need heavy structures and large column supports. Where are these hugh and ugly structures and columns going to be built? I am afraid they will be built right in the middle of our narrow Georgetown roads. They will permanently occupy (not sharing but occupy) the road 24/7 for the next few decades. Have you ever been to KL downtown? When you go there next time, please spend some time to study the LRT and Monorail in downtown KL. On the other hand, you may also start imagining a Georgetown full of structures similar to the ugly octopus pedestrian crossing at the Penang Road- Burmah Road junction. Please talk to the retailers around that area. The belief is that the ugly octopus structure has destroyed the fengshui there. Please have mercy on the retailers in Tanjong, Georgetown. Tanjong, Georgetown has been a black constituent for BN. They do not deserve what the current state government have in mind for them.

      • before seeing the plans you start to fear. then it will remain backward. better remain unchanged but cars are getting more and more. smog can cause cancer. did you see srs plans elevated structures and locations? it defeat public transport if it do not bring close. it need not to be exact but within 10 to 15 min walk.

      • Yes, I fear. Somehow, I am not as confident as before. Amazing, what a few years can do to a person.
        I fear being told the contract has been awarded before we have a chance to view the plan. I fear being told the contract is irreversible, without hefty taxpayer compensation to the contractor. I fear future Penangites have to shoulder a debt which we now have a chance to negate. I fear starring out my window and see elevated rail track running across it. I fear why the contractor with its mighty power has not been asked to get Ferry License; Penang ferry is for sale!!
        The state government should publicly display the plan for public viewing and not only behind FOI.

      • There is no firm alignment. Eg may encounter Francis light bath room or Very poor ground condition that they have to shift. The changes are based on paid according to what is done. MACC is watching for lubangs.

      • jadi ? adakah trem awak gunakan kurang ruang ? adakah ini menjawab soalan tadi ?

        mungkinkah trem tu akan menimbulkan masalah trafik ? kereta kena henti utk trem ke atau trem kena henti utk kereta ?

        macam mane awak hendak gali seluruh jalan tanpa merosakkan kabel2 dan utiliti2 lain di bawah jalan ? kalau trem awak rosak, adakah awak akan menutup seluruh jalan, terutamanya Lebuh Lintang / Jalan Ria ? mungkinkah kesesakan trafik bertambah teruk ?

        jgn lupa trem ini adalah dari Komtar ke Lapangan Terbang, tau ? berapa cepat trem awak boleh berjalan ? berapa org trem awak boleh tampung ? kalau trem awak tak secepat atau sebesar LRT di KLIA, apa gunanye trem awak ?

        ataupun awak cuma suke dedak umno 2.6 bilion ? kalau nak, sertailah gerakan merah di KL esok, 27 Ogos. dedak adalah percuma !

      • Zoro, forgive me if I am wrong but I am under the impression that you and some of your friends here are under instruction to thumb down Penang Forum. Please convey a few simple messages to your Center of Universe.
        1. Never destroy the fengshui of your bedrock
        2. When one drink, one has to remember the source of the water
        3. Remember the battle cries, Tanjong 1, Tanjong 2, Tanjong 3? It is Tanjong, my friend, that the Centre of Universe is now messing with. You may label it as inevitable development but is it for the betterment of the people or the contractor?

      • wah ! cakap bikin hebat ya, org umno ni ! fengshui sana sini pulak tu ! kalau awak suka sangat fengshui, bukalah kedai fengshui awak ! bukalah francais di semua tempat, di KL ke, JB ke, SG ke… wakkaakaka…

        feng shui hebat konon… jambatan berlapan di Komtar jugak boleh memberikan feng shui bagus kan ?

        oh punca air… kat mane ye ? Teluk Bahang ? Air Itam ? Sungai Muda di Kedah ?

        ada 3 Tanjung ? ade banyak lagi Tanjung lah, aduhai… geografi engkau dah gagal ke ? Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Malim, Tanjung Pelepas… dan jugak Tanjung Rambutan yg sesuai utk spesis spt awak ni. wakakaka…

        ‘inevitable development’ ? apa maksud ko ni ? Komtar pada 1970-an ? wakakaka…

        kesiannye awak. mesti dah kurang dedak ni ! sertailah gerakan merah di KL esok, 27 Ogos. dedak adalah percuma !

      • If the Centre of Universe is still not convinced, there is an old Uncle Lim to check out the history. Old Uncle Lim should still remember the sentiment behind Lim Chong Ewe’s defeat in 1990. It was the cumulative stress during the construction of KOMTAR leading up to 1990. I am not for a moment suggesting that one comes close to the caliber of Lim Chong Ewe whom Penangites have badly missed.

      • What is caliber of LCE compare to LKY? We are plain lucky. China was closed bamboo curtain. Vietnam in civil war, who wants to go invest in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos close to Vietnam. But singland was the hottest spot with skill and cheap labour on industrialisation. There is a spillover effect as singland unable to cope with the investors. Penang just tail along … and try to take a bite too. But now things change. There are better hunting ground for investors with china, Vietnam, thailand, Cambodia, Bangla, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. We are relegate to this third world grouping.where singland, hk, Taiwan and south Korea moves to 2 to 3 steps ahead.

      • LKY who? What had this LKY done for Penang? Most of us feel grateful to LCE. The ability to feel gratitude is an attribute of a human being.

      • ‘gratitude’ ? marilah kita sama2 menyanyikan lagu “Terima Kasih Kucapkan Padamu” ! hu-hu-hu-hu-hu-hooo….

        terima kasih umno, sebab mengambil banyak cukai dari PP tapi tak bersemangat bangunkan PP langsung !

      • When there is no substance, wakakakakakaka till the parrot comes home!
        When no idea … let’s sing a song!
        Such a troll, I have my sympathy for them.
        Maybe they haven’t try harder as expected from Komtar Dedak feeding.

      • Have you not sang the Singapore national anthem this August 9th?
        Oh yes, our national anthem is not so ‘advanced’. Bo bin-chui mah!
        Now, development for the nation must have a SingLand hand in it. Never mind Ringgit will continue to be repatriated to down under island.
        See Johor. Now some (not all) people also benefitted…
        Still not sang the Singapore national anthem yet?

      • awak ade “substance” ? substance ape ? dadah ? dedak umno ?

        inilah suara seorang yg telah menyerah kalah. wakakaka…. dah habis “substance’ dia tu ! dlm otaknye pun tak de ! tuan awak mesti terlupa bagi awak dedak pulak tu !

        awak jeles terhadap Singapura, tunglang ? kesian… awak tak dapat cari dedak umno di SG ke ? suruhlah tuan awak bagi !

        betul tu ! “some (not all) people also benefitted”. siapa yg “some” tu ? org kaya yg beli kondo di sebelah pantai yg ditebus ? perompak ? pencuri kereta ?

  13. Cheapest, least disruptive, most flexible infrastructure is roads. Curutiba and other cities have proven BRT beyond any argument for decades. All the proponents of fancy alternatives can do is suppress news of BRT or misrepresent it. It is cheaper by 10-100 times, depending on which mad alternative you opt for. Any excess money can buy buses which are (a) cleaner (b) quieter (c) electric (d) jointed. Or used to employ more staff and pay them instead of cheating and exploiting them.

    The central issue which all the authorities at all levels skirt is transparency. They try to impose changes as already discussed with the public, too late to change, beyond the understanding of taxpayers, having advantages that are confidential, etc.

    • tell pg forum. anil and tun lang to pester bn umno gomen to build brt. see fed gomen or bn link will operate it. you want to pay the brt but amno link to operate it. can you get the licence from SPAD?

  14. How about a sketch for sampan boats coming in from betty via the penguin canal to complete the Cheng shui of water, earth, wood elements?
    The fire element may be tunglang can envisage?

    • yes, and if tunglang wants more nostalgia, bring back the old-style toilets or those tin potty from the old days !

      use kerosene lamps instead of electricity !

      ban all vehicles except bechas and horse carriages !

      bring back those secret societies too !

      then we can have a complete, old town Penang for everyone to yum-cha, shake legs and enjoy !

    • Fire element? Just a genuine passion (which is fire) for consecration of Penang’s authentic cultures & old world charm, no one can recreate, not even by SingLanders.
      When there’s passion, anything is possible. But for now, let’s be more wary of a CAT fury that can change the destiny of Penang to God knows what is plastics.
      Just to share:
      Chinese tourists are travelling on impulse – to Malaysia!
      Whilst travellers are expecting good shopping options in many travel spots, other factors play a big role in the final selection.

      In fact, 56% of this segment are motivated to travel internationally simply by the desire to get away and relax – which seems to be the case especially for travel to South-East Asia – and 47% are lured by the desire to see natural, cultural and historical attractions.

      The top three most important deciding factors boiled down to whether a destination was safe or politically stable (65% rated this “extremely important”), followed by whether it featured a clean environment with low pollution (36%), and if it had natural features and landscapes (35%).

  15. The tram has to clink and clink, stop and accelerate. Pedestrians have to look for trams and vice versa. How come pg forum never mentions about trams in Hong Kong and Sydney? Or pg forum does not know they exists? They only show trams in the West thinking West is always no 1. Try taking tram from central in Hong Kong to north point where many hokkien people can’t understand Penang hokkien language. See how long tram takes even they run in the central carriage.
    Hk tram has a long history and is cheap but no pg forum wants to mention it because it is an unpredictable transport slower than bus.

    • You want to take us for a donkey ride & spinning?
      Pls lah don’t tell us it’s the wild wild west of American clink, clank trains turned trams.
      FYI: trams run on electricity, run quietly & safely. If you can’t see them coming, you must be wearing the zoro eye mask!

      We are prepared for your next imminent spin: – “TNB will give subsidised electricity while it taxed Penangites higher rate” “hee- haw” and “eeyore.”

      • electricity ? so does LRT !

        quietly and safely ? because of its slow-motion ? what happens to the already busy traffic around Sia Boey ? how much will it costs for all those ‘unsightly’ tram pylons and cables ?

        how fast can it go ? how many people can it carry ? or you expect everyone to just sit there and yum cha, watching time fly away like the good old days ? you may already have your pension and 4WD, but you want their salary to fly away too ???

        oh yes ! lets conserve Sia Boey ! invite UNESCO over ! stop building at Sia Boey ! and now ? back to building this at Sia Boey !

        pusinglah gasing ko kuat2 ! makanlah lebih dedak ! kalau dedak dah habis, sertailah gerakan merah di KL Sabtu ini 27 Ogos ! dedak adalah percuma !

      • maaf. terlupa pulak aku ni. kena terjemahkan dlm BM pulak. aku bimbang org kampung spt ko tak paham bahasa England sepenuhnya ! wakakaka…

        tenaga elektrik ? LRT jugak sama !

        senyap dan selamat ? sebab tram bergerak perlahan ? berapa ramaikah org yg boleh satu koc tram ambil ? ataupun awak nak semua org duduk, minum teh dan lihat betapa cepatnya masa berlalu… wakakaka… kamu mungkin dah ada pencen dan 4WD, tapi macam mane dgn org lain ? tak perlu cari nafkah ke ??? duduk dgn senyap dan sabarnye sambil melihat gaji mereka terbang bersama dgn masa…

        betul tu ! selamatkanlah Sia Boey ! jemput UNESCO sini ! jgn bina apa2 di Sia Boey ! tapi kini ? bina pulak di Sia Boey !

        amboi ! ligatnya pusingan ko tu !

      • After Komtar Dedak chewing, more spinning & character assassination for shiok-sendiri & Tokong exhilaration?
        Let the sustainable development option takes place.
        Let the businesses flourish.
        Let Penangites experience what is Better, Cheaper & Faster alternative.
        Nothing to do with my 4WD unless you are bankrupt of applicable ideas & spewing the same stuffs as zoro.
        But who already don’t know the 2-in-1 Komtar Dedak Addict trolling here?
        Btw, do you actually understand what is sustainable development beyond your shallow wakakakakakaka?

      • inilah akibat pemakanan dedak umno yg berlebihan ! kini sape yg tak de fakta ??

        oh, bantah sini bantah sana ! bantah PTMP ! bantah pembinaan Sia Boey ! semuanya utk ape ? tuan awak yg berikan dedak ?

        kalo tak bleh jawab satu soalan pun, lebih baik awak diam. sebab org PP bukannye org kampung yg dungu spt awak !

        tapi rasanye awak tak bleh diam kan ? awak masih kena menyalak supaya tuan awak bleh dengar ! dah kekurangan dedak ?

        sertailah gerakan merah di KL esok, 27 Ogos ! dedak adalah percuma !

      • Pls lah. How many times have I said: “Try harder”
        Sooner, the Komtar Tower Dedak feeding may stop!… C’mon, what other … antics you can offer?

      • wakakaka… awak “try harder” lah, tunglang bodoh !

        tuan awak tak bagi dedak sama lu ke ? kesian…

        Isnin ni 29 Ogos ada perarakan gerakan merah. dedak adalah percuma ! jom !

      • Ok guys, please stick to the topic. Personal attacks and trolling comments will be deleted.

      • Anil, pls do it.
        2-in-1 trolling creates a lot of noises & distraction from real issue in discussion.
        My sympathy to Gerakan, MCA & UMNO for the filth throw at them to spin a twist at a slightest opportunity for political master’s …

      • All others are not sustainable development. Only yours is sustainable with 4 w drive burning and releasing more C02 into air and cause cancer to others. You are saying you have higher moral than others.

      • you want us to donkey and dinkey ride on your 4w drive? you spin around with no answer to hong kong trams. none mention about iconic trams and the solution to public transport. sometimes … bark non stop and appoint self as watch dog and only gelakan has the $¥£€.

      • Pls for Venerable Deity’s sake, try harder!
        Spinning doesn’t work anymore, much less convince.
        Or is it you are hard up for more Komtar Dedak?

    • Perhaps slow moving tram is good to slow down the pace of frantic life of modern day?
      Imagine the good old days when one could spend hours reading newspaper while slowly sipping a cup of morning coffee and dipping their toasted roti on soft-boiled eggs at a kopitiam?
      The Sia Boey tram station should add such old-styled kopitiam for the Penang Baby Boomers to mingle and be nolstagic of yesteryears.
      Have a roadside Char Kway Teow (Siam Road franchise) stall so that people could queue for hours and momentarily forget their woes?
      Also add a branch of the famous Cendol stall as people can eat while standing thus not taking up valuable space?

    • This is the problem with you guys in the Goebbels’ Group. You only been to HK or Singapore and your entire universe revolves around these cities. Penang has a very different character and it has to be preserved to protect our unique heritage and not turn into another over-developed and “Greed-Is-Good” city like HK and SG. The population density and the mindset of the people and the geography is very different. I fully support this low-cost but that is high on sustainability and people-friendliness. You don’t need high speed trains and vehicles in the city centers. Many European cities have trams as their primary transportation and they have co-existed with pedestrian and cyclists peacefully without any problems.

      Tokong is hell-bent on LRT not because it is the best solution to move people … (is it) because it will (allegedly) enrich the party and its supporters most directly and indirectly(?). Look around you, all these developments that Tokong brought to Penang, did any ordinary Penangite benefitted from it?

      • PP mempunyai ‘unique heritage and not turn into another over-developed and “Greed-Is-Good” city like HK and SG’ ? jadi bila KL dan SG sedang bergerak ke depan dgn sistem pengangkutan yg lengkap, PP harus berundur ke belakang sebab ‘heritage’ ?

        kalo awak semua suka sangat heritage engkau tu, jgnlah pakai kereta ! jgnlah pakai tenaga elektrik dan tandas ! biar kita kembali dgn rasa nostalgiknye ke zaman dulu, bila semua org … dlm tong atau tanah, bila lampu kerosin luas digunakan, bila hanya beca saja yg ada.

        binalah lagi di Dia Boey ! bukankah awak minggu lepas kata Sia Boey harus dipelihara ? sekarang nak pusing pulak ? inilah akibat pemakanan dedak yg melampau ! sertailah gerakan merah di KL Sabtu ini, 27 Ogos. dedak adalah percuma !

      • you are like dicaprio enjoy working in internationak meeting your financiers and doners. you wanr fast on mrt,high speed rail and fast planes as time is money. but you are telling others not to save time? you walk and bicycle in daily life without cars or mbikes? typical bn goon suppressing others. go and tell tun lung throw his 4w and change to husky dog sledge.or donkey cart.

      • This is a CAT out of the bag of a Komtar Dedak Addict trolling base on my observation of comments just above.
        What a tell-tale sign of a 2-in-1 Komtar Dedak Addict – one after another consecutively commenting & character assassination.
        One from (his boss?) office, another … from home. Just look at the time of entries.
        Good that Anil programmes his blog so that no one can doppelgänger from the same IP address using different names.

        What a waste of bean-counting Tokong’s Komtar Dedak to feed a 2-in-1 Dedak Addict that has no substance but repetition of spinning by 2-time trolling!

      • tunglang : woof woof… tuan, boleh bagi saya dedak ? woof woof…

        tuan : boleh… tapi hanya lepas ko sertai gerakan merah ku di KL esok. jgn tak datang ya !

        tunglang : woof woof… kenapa ku mesti datang ? woof woof

        tuan : ko tak suke dedak aku ?

        tunglang : woof woof… okie. tak de masalah ! woof woof… dedak 2.6 bilion adalah kegemaranku !

      • wakakaka… anda menyerah kalah ? kekurangan dedak ?

        sertailah gerakan merah di KL esok, 27 Ogos. dedak adalah percuma !

    • zoro, what a joke this is indeed ! an at-grade tram criss-crossing the busy crowded roads ???

      how fast can a tram go ? how does the at-grade tram lines solve the congestion around Sia Boey ? will the traffic have to stop for the trams ? or will the trams have to stop for the traffic ? how much does it cost to dig up the roads and the utilities underneath ? will they close the whole stretch when a line breaks down ? in the end how much will this whole laughing stock of a rolling stock worth ?

      these Penang forum folks obviously never had engineering foresight, so they came up with THIS ! wakakakaka !

      oh btw, what happened to the remnants of Penang forum’s Sia Boey conservation plan ? still building at Sia Boey now ? ha-ha-ha !

      • people forget it is only a drawing and an advertisement. asian cities are overcrowded. they never see a real tram ride on one. even if they ride during first few times they focus on the riding. if daily is a chore. go to burke street mall in melbourne or paddy market.and see the dangers. here in asian cities we have to include mat rempits or sh peks on boon siews.any accidents
        means all the trams in pg have to stop for few hours. then we really need donkey rides. we never learn from ktm is anything happen on the SHARED track.

      • Try harder talking to yourself – … wakakakaka.
        How convincing!
        More like soliloquy!
        What a way to earn more Komtar Dedak due kali ganda!

      • Barking all the time without specific facts. Only generalisation drawing rare events make into a big story. Why not draw about missing mas plane. Tell all not to fly or land up like missing persons.

  16. Hi Anil, please ask Penang Forum to consider putting these sketches up as posters in front of MBPP Concourse at Komtar 3rd floor to make sure our Mr Lim wont miss them and has a chance to comment on them.

  17. Greener, clean, simple, practical & sustainable model.
    Easy to retrofit in the future to meet increase demand.
    And of course cheaper to begin with, without the bin-chui factor for Cosmo-Gaya = Mahal = Pok Kai (in the short run).
    I would love it more if cycling is add to the equation: cycle lanes & parking spaces, cyclists’ wash rooms, & subsidised take>ride>return public bicycle utility.
    As for cooling the atmosphere, how about adding fountains along Pranging Mall frontage?
    And to add an atmosphere of old world charm, have traffic wardens dressed in prewar khaki uniforms at the 2 junctions of Lebuh McNair & Jalan Ria at peak hours.
    Sia Boey can be turned into a performing street art & acrobatic martial art displays rendezvous within its more open space. Cheng, cheng, cheng, cheng!
    And that Sia Boey Hokkien Mee seller can’t complain anymore (according to SiaBoey Boy) as there will definitely be more pedestrians & tourists coming daily both for transportation & recreation / relaxation & lifestyle dining.
    And not least, revitalised local businesses beyond the staled fixation on Starry-Eyed Buck or Kimmy Garish.
    The main key to attracting people is still the old world charm factor in the mix of transportation, recreation, dining+lepak+shopping & performing art + fine art museum.
    How about a Dissent Corner in the middle of Sia Boey Park?

    • I agree on the cycle lanes and facilities. In fact I would even go to the extent of banning cars in the city center and making it open only for public transportation and commercial vehicles to transport goods.
      I like the idea of a Dissent Corner…..

      • why no praise for mppp making cycle lanes and condemn bn lead councils for not doing anything at all. sori forget you are under bn payroll.

      • tell dbkl to turn petaling street into a pedestrian mall unless you want to wait for another 4 years for your title


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