Blowing RM8.4bn on a single LRT line in Penang

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SRS Consortium is planning to build an elevated light rail transit system from Komtar to Bayan Lepas and beyond – which would cost RM8.4bn for a single line.

This is in stark contrast to the original Halcrow transport masterplan proposal for public transport, which would have cost RM9.7bn for the entire state (see total above).

In fact, the Halcrow plan for bus rapid transit and trams (shared and segrated street-level and elevated) for the entire state would cost only RM8.0bn (see breakdown in image above) out of Halcrow’s total of RM9.7bn for public transport?

So why are we blowing RM8.4bn on a single expensive LRT line?

It is time we go back and look at the original Halcrow transport masterplan (before including the bits that the state government wanted them to include) – for which Halcrow was paid RM3.2m.

This should be used as the basis for a thorough relook at what can be implemented now (including transport demand management) – instead of dreaming of some extravagant pie-in-the-sky proposals – many of which, even the state government concedes, may not even be realised in our lifetimes.

READ MORE:  Penang at a crossroads: Building more highways or a good public transport system?
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23 COMMENTS

  1. Anonymous #37634848
    A dubious project. The scenario is frightening indeed! For China, it is a good opportunity. Malaysians shall feel the pinch a few years down the line. Present Government Leadership has no responsibility for the future. Just keep loading the debts and no one will dare to take over the Nation’s mantle unless it can be done GE 14. It is not wrong to borrow from China but we should balance our interests. IN this Project, we have lost even our underpants! The project is not viable and the total cost is running water. If the projected cargo passess through Malaysia, only it serves China’s interests. The passenger numbers projected are an imagination of the Planner’s finger tips. When we cannot meet the payments, our Precious Assets shall be mortgaged or sold. China will have the control of both the seas. I wouldn’t blame China but our own irresponsible leadership for this fiasco. This is worst than 1MDB!

    • The reason Najib seems to be getting away is because of China, which is taking advantage of a situation like a drug dealer giving more drugs to the addict who have lost control. Slowly but surely Malaysia is becoming a vassal state of China… China has become a very powerful country economically and is now looking to dominate the world. This plan begins with the easiest tasks of controlling weak and corrupt states through bribery.

      Recently the government of Singapore discovered a professor at LKY school subversively working as an agent for China, pushing its agenda. Even Singapore being a country dominated by Chinese majority is also aware of the risk and threats of China. The professor was sacked and his PR revoked.

      Ironically UMNO champions itself as the defenders of Malay rights, and that voters must ensure it hangs on to power at all cost. I am amazed they manage to fool so many of the people it vows to defend. Even Perkasa could not convince the Umno supporters to see the threat.

  2. The 142.3km Jakarta-Bandung high speed railway (HSR) cost only US$5.2 billion (RM 23 billion) or RM160 million per km.
    China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) contributes 90% for the project funding, which give it a 50 years concession after completion.

    Penang LRT not a HSR only 30km cost RM8.4 billion or RM280 million per km. Which is 75% per km more expensive than a HSR.
    Yet Lim Guan Eng administration needs to fund the project by itself at such an exorbitant cost.

    Penang state government should contact CREC to build a 30km HSR at the cost of RM4.8 billion. Why wasted RM3.6 billion and get a LRT which is much inferior compare to a high speed railway (HSR)….

    • Aiya, crec wants this indon project to promote made in cina high speed train. Otherwise it will be arigato. Now cina can tell Nippon to sayorara. Bidding is like war over dadao island occupied by Nippon. Crec has 1000℅ backup from cina gomen. If lose money, never mind. See what is rm 55 billion? Sup sup sui. Which is cheaper? Made in indon or Malaysia?

    • The justification for the ECRL is that it will carry almost 60 million tonnes of freight yearly by 2035. This is incredible because even KTM only carries about 6 million tonnes per annum with its current nationwide network. If the projected massive surge in freight tonnage does not materialise, the project will lose even more, meaning that taxpayers for generations to come will have to massively subsidise the ECRL.

      Whether or not the ECRL is profitable, we will still have to repay the China bank loan (RM55 billion) with interest. Malaysia does not have to pay during the first seven years, but after that, we have to settle it within two decades. So financially, this is essentially a loan for which we Malaysians will exclusively bear all the risks.

      https://m.malaysiakini.com/news/391563

    • China’s interest in these projects was motivated more by geopolitical interests, than profit. For instance, the ports along the peninsula’s West coast would allow China to secure access to the Straits of Malacca. In addition, funding the projects through loans from Chinese state-owned banks could increase the Malaysian government’s liabilities, while construction contracts awarded to Chinese firms were in fact “services imports,” which could subtract from headline GDP growth and ringgit demand. In other words, China is slowly but surely ‘colonise’ Malaysia economically.

    • While the First Industrial Revolution created entirely new industries that required massive inputs of labour just as thousands of weavers and farm workers lost their livelihoods, what has been the dubbed by some the Fourth Industrial Revolution emphasises the dominance of the creative and communications sectors controlled by a technologically adept elite that produce often ethereal products requiring little or no non-specialised human inputs.

      As a result, when waged employment based on mass production techniques and processes vulnerable to automation is lost in emerging economies, there is no obvious source of similar employment that can absorb this huge workforce and replace the small but steady salaries it produces. Managing the transition from labour-dependent to technology-based economies is complex in any country, but given Asia’s rapid rise as the global manufacturing centre within the space of a few decades, a rapid deceleration of employment opportunities and the wages they support could prove traumatic and destabilising.

    • Hope CAT Gomen learnt (by now) from the folly of unrealistic thinking in the vein of greedy developers who only aim at selling high end properties to the rich & famous (so to realise Cosmopolitan Penang Vision for Rich + Famous). Nothing comes too good too fast making money!
      The reality is still majority of Penangites with monthly household income of between 1500 – 4000 are only able to buy houses priced in the range of below Rm150K, nothing more.

      Q: Now to sell a RM150,000 home for 750 sq ft minus finishing is still unrealistic.
      Minus: floor tiling, kitchen basic tiling, toilet tiling, wall painting, ceiling painting, no shellac on wooden door, just BARE MINIMAL?
      Now, will there be a monopoly renovation business enforced by developers on buyers to only use their appointed contractors? Renovation costs can easily comes to another 100K. Pls answer this, Jagdeep.

      Q: Currently, affordable homes on the island are capped at the following prices, based on the relevant size: RM150,000 (750 sq ft), RM 250,000 (800 sq ft), and RM300,000 (900 sq ft).
      A difference of just 50 sq ft (750 sq ft vs 800 sq ft) can command a RM100K difference???
      While a difference of 100 sq ft (800 sq ft vs 900 sq ft) can only command a RM50K difference???
      What logic is this, Jagdeep.

      • Spinning again like the speaker wanting a gold plated toilet? You can contribute donation for the finishes.
        When you eat cendol, char kui toew or one ton mee, you complain about lack of ambience from the owner?
        Lower group want a roof over their. If they are very well do, they will buy the condo on the hills. You can orso spin how can people live w/o air cond, parking lot, installing grills and live like jail birdie?

      • Pls try harder! (spinning). Or better still answer on behalf of Jagdeep.
        Btw, pls don’t ask for a fee just to access ‘state property development secrets’.

      • Try spinning and no wonder you are not taught proper decorum and manner how to write proper letter if you want the state expo to reply you? To have been visiting too many pasar mlm, pg road condom and one ton mee. Here you can shout like chow kit road and play play.

  3. …and $64 Billion in 1 MDB is no issue…neither is $8 Billion Felda losses or $27Billion MAS ma;aysian airlines losses over the years since UMNO-Bangsat Negara in power with approval from Sultan-Agong-Govenor…..all part of the Malu-SIAL Demise….. People of Penang want their Own Progress unlike other States…..What so Special about Selangor???

    • Yes, we paid tax but BN used it to build MRT for Klang Valley folks in the name of PM’s gift to people. How often could a tax-paying Penangite use that MRT? Kudos to CAT for taking care of the transportation needs of its own people, never mind the cost.

    • BN trying hard to win back Selangor with MRT, but likely to suffer ‘Talak Tiga’, unless Azmin can convince PAS not to assist Umno in multi corner fight.

    • Politicians should not be Santa Claus giving away ‘gifts’.
      They are supposed to be responsibly serving the Rakyat, nothing more ‘shiok’ like Santa Claus.
      Rakyat don’t owe you politicians any ‘Kam Cheng’. Unlike private individuals like Bill Gates who gave away part of their wealth to societies.

      • Spinning and can’t see the difference between politician and non politician like Gates

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