Cable cars will push Penang Hill visitors beyond 10000/day threshold


A proposal for cable car lines from the Youth Park, Botanic Garden and Teluk Bahang has been tacked on to the draft Special Area Plan for Penang Hill, which is being touted as a “green, heritage destination”. There is concern, however, that this could add to traffic congestion around the Youth Park/Botanic Garden area while pushing visitors well past the 10000 people/day carrying capacity of the Penang Hill summit, as gazetted in the existing Penang Hill Local Plan.

penang cable car

The executive summary of the Penang Hill draft Special Area Plan does not make any mention of the cable car proposal. So it appears that the cable car proposal is an add-on to the draft SAP. Federal funding may be necessary for this project to take off.

Now that the draft SAP has been prepared, it will move on to the next stage: publicity for the draft and a public display of the draft SAP for not less than four weeks. Based on the feedback, inquiries and hearings will be conducted on the draft, and objections and representations will be considered. When that is completed, the draft may be approved, with or without modifications, or rejected. If it is approved, it will then be gazetted.

Hopefully, this cable car proposal will be thoroughly studied (from all angles especially ecological and traffic) while considering the carrying capacity of Penang Hill.

According to an online article by Goh Ban Lee:

… Penang Hill already has a plan, namely the Penang Hill Local Plan, the only gazetted local plan in the state. It was prepared in 1996 after the controversies surrounding the development plan proposed by Bukit Pinang Leisure Sdn Bhd in 1989.

Although it is not the most exciting plan, it does contain an important caveat in its development. It provides for “the carrying capacity of specific sites… taking into consideration the physical, environmental and infrastructure constraints”. Although the plan provides for 10,000 visitors per day, it cautions that this is an arbitrary number and that there is a need to “monitor for evidence of deteriorations to the physical environment”.

Under the “moderate development” scenario of the Penang Hill Local Plan, the carrying capacity is said to be 8000 persons/day, according to a WWF Malaysia report for the Economic Planning Unit of the PM’s Department in 2001. (At present, during peak periods, close to 10000 or more people are already visiting the hill-top.)

The WWF Malaysia report notes:

The cable car service proposed in the Local Plan has to be viewed upon as a weakness despite the fact that it can improve the efficiency of transportation. Penang Hill does not focus on mass tourism, therefore there is no real need for a mode of transport to ferry large numbers of people. The cable car is also not compatible with the recommended tourism theme (Section 2.5) for Penang Hill; i.e. nature and heritage tourism…

Carrying Capacity

43. The carrying capacity for Penang Hill was determined by taking into consideration the biodiversity conservation as well as the proposed tourist facilities, and infrastructure improvements that are detailed in the Action Plans, and is calculated to be about 4000 visitors per day.

It would be noted that this is lower than the carrying capacity indicated in the Local Plan where a cable car access was provided for. Moreover, the intensive land use zone used here is smaller than that used in Local Plan which included areas of steep slopes which could not be used by visitors.

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Frank Lau

As a Penangite,I agree to improve the access to Penang hill. it is disheartening to see tourist stranded in Ayer Itam every major holiday and many have to give up visiting the hill. There are many ways to limit pollution, it take just a few ignorant visitors to destroy any tourist destination. It is not the number of visitor but proper ruling and enforcement to preserve and to improve the economy of the state. The state government is courteous enough to open this for debate and suggestion, if ever we want to blame, blame those who talk nonsense instead of… Read more »


Next GE let us vote back Penang lang as CM


Tunglang, What to do?. You and I thought we have a saviour but then we have found another devil. Now they are so arrogant and will they ever listen to you. See how rocket and dap lge speak nowadays. just like that pornstar. I now prefer back the old Penang and KTK


“Arrogant” seems to be the one-word catch-phrase for the Tokong of Komtar Tower. Just ask those who were & are fed up with this Tokong. In the 308 Vocabulary, this word was precisely reserved for “hantam-ing” on the BeeEnders. But now it looks set to be hot-wax stamped on the Komtar Tower leadership that developers love to develop his global-cosmopolitan dream before they die on this richie’s island. Glass flooring in the sky that one can see thro’ from the bottom streets up is one good exemplary of an anomaly of seeing someone who is arrogant & does not believe… Read more »

semuanya OK kot

In the creed of capitalism, exploiting everthing until it is destroyed is called “maximising growth” and “efficiency.” Selective protection of capitalists but not others is called “free market.”

Strangely, the LGE government was very quiet on not receiving federal funds in the last GE. Maybe I should read Animal Farm again.


Strangely, the LGE government was very quiet on not receiving federal funds in the last GE.

Highly Probable:
Developers’ arm-twisting > land contra agreement-linked funding of richie brick, mortar & grew & glass Bing Chui development
= running state on Deafeningly Quiet Mode in spite of degrading environmental concerns, loud protest & indignation at recalcitrant developers riding on free for all kind of development.

Except for a parting shot at Johor City Council over a socio-politically charged mural art.


Correction: funding of richie brick, mortar & green glass Bing Chui development


For every botak hill there will be lies, deceit and sandiwara kapal sin & son and what happen the botak will continue and spill over. Penang will then have lot of botak and don`t worry you will also see lot of sandiwara … from the tokong … and the … tiger … The next to be and must be (defeated) will be the Jardip and Rayer. I will make sure of that at next GE


And the people will loved this LGE even more because it will bring in more tourist, congestion and money money money despite his short coming and DAP arrogancy. But we must kick out sleeping and bad service oriented adun like Delima Rayan and Datuk Keramat Jardip Sing …


Soon the ‘Botak Hill’ will become a more prominent feature in Penang?


Penang (island) hills are already stressed, some botak-ed & many won’t be left alone by itchy hands & profiteering minds in the coming days. Penang Hill Railway’s century old train cable system & old trams of slow, unforgettable experiential ride were replaced by Speedy-Gonzales Fridge Trains of yearly breakdowns without much resistance from LGE Cosmopolitan Frenzied Minds (this the state gone has to bear the blames, not Yenny Yen Yen). As I earlier surmised about Fed projects for Penang Hill, there will soon come another Satu Lagi Projek i.e. the cable cars to complement the freaky Speedy Gonzales Trains. True… Read more »


Bad Idea I agree little parking ,WHY not spend it in Georgetown Heritage area on a Tramway more tourist would use it


I agree that it is a good plan if implemented well. But I rather prefer the idea of it going from Pg Hill to Tk Bahang but avoiding the botanical gardens. There is already insufficient land there and insufficient parking for existing visitors. Plus it will be more scenic and the route will be longer. Of course state funds should not be used for such extravagant plans when there are projects which urgently need more attention like bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways. If implemented it should be fully financed by the company which is given the tender to operate it.… Read more »