Five reasons why the Mount Erskine underpass is not the best option

Blowing the rates hikes on silly underpasses and alandslide-prone highway

This Consumers Association of Penang statement is in response to the Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow’s claim that the Mount Erskine underpass is the best option to solve traffic woes as reported in the Star, 8 November 2019.

We offer five reasons why not only is it not the best option but even more so it is a waste of ratepayers’ money and should be scrapped.

1. Traffic flow good most of the time

This project is not a priority as traffic flow at this junction is good most of the time, except during morning peak hours. Even then, the waiting time going to Burmah Road is less than 10 minutes.

2. Traffic nightmare during construction period

The project will create a massive traffic nightmare for at least two years or more (during the construction period) as all residents in the north will have only one road – Tanjong Tokong Road – to travel to town and back.

Has the Penang Island City Council taken this into account? Has the council done a detailed traffic simulation study of this problem? If so, please make it public. This “solution” is akin to cutting your nose to spite your face.

3. Moving the congestion 1km down the road?

Assuming traffic flows smoothly under Jalan Gottlieb via the underpass, would traffic not hit congestion again when cars emerge from the underpass onto Jalan Burmah and Pulau Tikus? Why spend RM55m just to move the traffic jam 1km down the road?

4. Why pay millions when there are simpler cost-effective solutions

The cost of this project has more than doubled to RM55m and possibly higher due to land acquisition compensation to about 20 landowners who will receive over RM20m. Why pay out millions of ringgit at the expense of all ratepayers in Penang for unwarranted projects when simpler cost-effective solutions that will not destroy the surrounding above-ground community are well on hand?

5. Cancelling this project could reduce assessment rate hikes

The council is expected to raise RM54m from its proposed assessment rate increases. By cancelling this project, the council could save RM55m and reduce its proposed assessment rate increase to benefit all ratepayers.

The council should not waste ratepayers’ money on bad solutions to traffic congestion.

What is needed is better management of the traffic light system and stricter enforcement against congestion caused during school opening and closing hours which will cost next to nothing.

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Don’t blame the roads.
Roads are built because you guys buy so many cars and not take public transportation!!


The government will be floating the price of RON95 petrol in stages once the targeted fuel subsidy scheme kicks off in January next year through price increase of 1 or 2 sens a week.

Cost of car ownership to go up? PH could possibly lose next GE because of fuel hike (look at what has happened in Chile and the yellow vest protest in France)?


One more reason, the traffic jam due to selfish Drivers and school management. They could easily open part of the school grounds to allow cars to park inside and/or pick up students. Keeping the ground pristine which causing massive jams


If Malaysia will have flying cars, then why still need so many roads?

Anyway, this video shows Singapore flying car, 6 months ahead of the Buatan Makaysia one:


Why are Malaysian homes so expensive?

Malaysian house prices have increased by over 300% since 2002, pushing the cost way above what the “average” Malaysian can afford. Yet developers continue to build tens of thousands of new houses – that go unsold – every year!

Rimau Erskine

ONE reason why underpass over hills not recommended : disturbing the wandering souls and auto accidents can happen during 1st month of launch. It’s hokkien lang version of Ridley’s Believe It Or not.


The best way to stampede the herd is to confuse them. We hear so many big words: caring society, public transport, MRT, LRT, flying car, public-private partnership, etc. – now even big data, AI, smart this-or-that. The bottom line is to extract public and private wealth through cronies. If there is no jam, we can always create one as follows: – Interminable road and sidewalk upgrades and repairs — unsupervised, with no stated deadlines, with no consideration for rush hour. – Undermining existing rail, bus, etc., e.g. killing off competition, failing to regulate and subsidise, allowing higher fares, allowing a… Read more »