If even a 1.4km highway faces cashflow problems…

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The Bukit Kukus paired road

… what will happen when they try to build the RM9bn (or RM7.5bn, depending on who you ask) 19.5km “Pan Island Link” – all six lanes of it with four tunnel stretches on risky, sensitive hill terrain.

Even a current small highway project on the hills –  the 5km Bukit Kukus bypass road (call it a test run for PIL) – already looks jinxed. Last year, some beams collapsed at the construction site. Days later, a landslide there killed a string of migrant workers. The site was then slapped with a temporary stop-work order. And now another stretch of the same highway is facing cashflow problems. And so far they seem to be having a tough time managing the slopes…

FMT reports:

The 5km bypass road connecting Bandar Baru Air Itam and Relau is being undertaken by the Penang Island City Council and two private developers – PLB Land Sdn Bhd (PLB) and Geo Valley Sdn Bhd (Geo Valley).

The council will build most of the three-section bypass road, while a 1.4km stretch will be built by the two developers, who are white knights at an abandoned housing project close by.

The housing project, known as Majestic Heights, is next to where the elevated portion of the road will be built. It hit several snags in 1998 and was abandoned in 2003. At the time, the project was 70% complete.

PLB and Geo Valley took over the project as white knights in July 2015 and, in return for the project site, were told to build the 1.4km stretch of the bypass road directly next to the land for the city council.

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Today, Zairil said the two developers were experiencing slow sales for their new affordable housing project on the site, hence the cash flow issue.

“Nevertheless, the bypass road project as a whole is progressing well with the construction at 75% complete. The section undertaken by the developers is slower than usual due to cash flow issues but we expect the entire project to be completed by next year,” Zairil told reporters during a site visit here today.

So this was a swap deal of sorts. What did they get in return for being white knights?

And why are sales of “affordable housing” so slow?

If even sales of “affordable housing” are so slow, what can we expect from the three articificial islands off the southern coast, where 70-80% of the homes to be built will not be “affordable”. This is compounded by the reality that Penang is already faced with a serious property glut – a lot of it high-end – which is larger than London’s glut.

Add to that, the reclamation will take years to complete, and the potential for a serious cashflow problem in building the Pan Island Link and the LRT cannot be dismissed.

Why, even the federal government has been unable (so far) to cough up a RM1bn “bridging loan” to kick off the project. So how are they going to manage to come up with working capital to finance the RM17bn infrastructure under the first phase of the “PTMP” and the land reclamation itself.

Why don’t we just improve our bus system first? After all, well before Singapore built its MRT system, the government there worked for years on improving its bus system – with great success. Today, the republic’s buses carry more than half of Singapore’s public transport users – yes, more than the number of MRT users. Simon Tan writing for Aliran outlines four easy ways to improve the bus service in Penang.

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Meanwhile, as Penang’s ecological nightmare continues, FMT has just revealed that Penang port has been found to have three times (yes, three times) more imported plastic waste than Port Klang.

FMT reports:

About 7.4 million tonnes of unwanted plastic waste, mostly from Canada, has been stranded at the Butterworth port since January.

It remains unclaimed by the importers, the Customs Department said today.

The 7.4 million tonnes figure is derived from the maximum payload of 28,000 tonnes that each of the 40-foot containers can carry.

This effectively beats the 3,000 tonnes of plastic waste from 60 containers found in Westport, Port Klang, Selangor, which were recently ordered to be shipped back to their ports of origin by the government.

Penang leads once again!

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Anfield
Anfield
30 May 2019 9.22pm

Toll charges will solve cash flow problem.
Good luck to Penang drivers.

Maxim
Maxim
31 May 2019 10.35am
Reply to  Anfield

Car drivers Will foot the Bill.
I think they are used to it.
Part of the cost of car ownership.
Price for not supporting public transport.

Wei
Wei
31 May 2019 3.09pm
Reply to  Maxim

hehe….as if public transport is free and you have bargaining power to resist price hike…

Richie
Richie
31 May 2019 10.54am
Reply to  Anfield

Want to drive then must pay. Chow knows drivers got no choice.

Kopi O Ah Pek
Kopi O Ah Pek
31 May 2019 1.57pm
Reply to  Richie

Chow now in Kenya UNESCO program. He returns with fresh Penang vision for a Safari park for local endangered creatures in Penang at Jerejak Island. Can also create a theme park there inspired by African mammals migration i.e. world’s united nation human mass migration to live in condominiums on fantasy island. Now audition calling for cast members to be on board greeting the planes from many rich nations.

Switch Machine
Switch Machine
1 Jun 2019 10.36am
Reply to  Kopi O Ah Pek

Endangered creatures include Penang traditional Fishermen and vintage kopi o drinkers????

Zendra
Zendra
5 Jun 2019 11.35am
Reply to  Kopi O Ah Pek

Chow could have promoted Penang Chendol, can be a bigger success than Taiwan Bubble Tea from deer to tiger branding.

Anne
Anne
6 Jun 2019 7.40pm
Reply to  Zendra

My concern is Prnang chendol operators may up their price since the locals now are willing to pay as much as RM11.90 for a milk bubble tea!

No good for us!

tunglang
tunglang
5 Jun 2019 8.57am
Reply to  Anfield

Yeah, build 6-lanes highways, hill tunnels, flyovers > toll charge users just to finance continuing of construction + maintenance indefinitely, despite swap deals done (who will keep promise to finance? when state gomen can quickly come to crying project developers). And in the end, Cash-Flow-Problem-Solver-Penangites foot the bills! But greedy developers happy to make tons of money from 3-island property sales! State gomen beams with pride boasting the most expensive highways in a state to show-tell we are nearing HK status! Pg Development Playbook – a political portfolio fulfilled to preach to all states of Malaysia Baru. Don’t you see… Read more »

Kah Seng
Kah Seng
1 Jun 2019 6.36pm

What’s the point of charging 1+ million Penangites for plastic bags (which should be discouraged indeed), when our state gov cannot monitor and stop the import of 100+million pieces of plastic garbage?

Shriek
Shriek
2 Jun 2019 11.31am
Reply to  Kah Seng

Importation are by greedy businessmen and they pass through federal customs using containers. Tell us who is peng land exco for custom or you spin and make up stories.

Ma jiji
Ma jiji
31 May 2019 7.23am

Stop that haphazard highway for god sake !

Wei
Wei
31 May 2019 3.10pm
Reply to  Ma jiji

boycott all you want but millions other motorist welcome the new highway…

glissantia
glissantia
31 May 2019 3.51pm

Greed –> Usury –> Capitalism –> Fascism –> Globalism –> Climate cataclysm –> The planet rid of humans.

Anfield
Anfield
1 Jun 2019 11.17am
Reply to  glissantia

Bin Chui -> Car Ownership -> Pollution -> Traffic Jam -> More Roads -> Wider Roads -> Highways -> PIL…

tunglang
tunglang
30 May 2019 9.09pm

Q: Does the questionable swap deal for PTMP give appointed developers / contractors the freedom of time schedule to build for PTMP conditional to ‘as & when there’s money’ from sales of properties on the 3 fantasy islands? If so, this is a tricky & uncertain deal that could delay project delivery & may even stall the completion in critical time to move an already expanding number of vehicles on the island. But didn’t we had a fine-combing accountant CM (who had a penchant for cheap deals) previously to determine the apparent risks before going gung-ho for PTMP financing via… Read more »

shriek
shriek
31 May 2019 1.56pm
Reply to  tunglang

Tu lang, ah pek. The project was started in 1998 prime of your life. But you keep quiet and no kbkb. Crony of gilakan? What integrated planning? No roads? Further housing project is abandoned. Why no shriek again. Poor house buyer?

Wei
Wei
31 May 2019 3.13pm
Reply to  tunglang

now this chap is worrying about delay and highway not completed soon enough…….whatever as long as can kpkb….what a pathetic life…

tunglang
tunglang
2 Jun 2019 11.59am
Reply to  Wei

You think I worry for risky PTMP. It’s your idol Niao Kong & Chow Chow who should have sleepless nights should cash flow hits a snag! Not clever a spin of he-he-he! Why not start crying for your idol?

Wei
Wei
3 Jun 2019 11.18am
Reply to  tunglang

hehe…don.t even think for a second that we are like you..we are independent thinking, have brain and worship no one unlike you macai, gelakan fanboy…

tunglang
tunglang
5 Jun 2019 8.59am
Reply to  Wei

Your words show, no need to justify your insane he-he-he!!!
Pls try harder like shriek!!!

Shriek
Shriek
1 Jun 2019 11.23pm
Reply to  tunglang

Tu Lang whatba dude. You did not read and understand? The housing was started last century and abandon early this century. Why no kbkb last century? What about poor buyers? It was abandoned. Apart fron taking over, they were request to built another 1.5 km of road. Why no kbkb housing were built without connectivity. You praised that for intergrated planning? Lol.

tunglang
tunglang
5 Jun 2019 9.06am
Reply to  Shriek

Were you sleeping during the 1997 financial crisis? Most businesses were affected not excluding housing. Maybe the Shrieking Business was booming!
And you talk connectivity when there was no need for more roads in 1990s.
At least, the last century was more sane & less arrogant than since-308-NiaoKongEgo.
Pls try harder or fail!

Shriek
Shriek
6 Jun 2019 3.50pm
Reply to  tunglang

This is 21century. So there is need for road idoit. Now u kbkb as no longer cash trap?

tunglang
tunglang
5 Jun 2019 12.06pm

Will there be shrieking for a bail out should PTMP hit a financing snag, Finance Minister? When the financier (the project developers) may be facing financial constraints (not a he-he-he matter) due to continuing property hangs in Penang (Anil knows better), is it wise to depend on such risky financing via swap deals (NGOs already forewarned) which is more of a risky property play of Russian roulette? Or MBPP+MBSP via Land Office is getting ready to increase Quit Rent by direct charging of property owners (no more thro’ property management) for emergency financing of stalled project? Time for Hari Raya… Read more »

Shriek
Shriek
2 Jun 2019 11.38am

Ask roger and pg ngos to study why small region like Macau is traffic jam? One can walk from china border to Lisbon casino in less than 45 mins but why Macao is heavily traffic with cars and kapcais? There are public and free casino buses.

Wei
Wei
30 May 2019 8.19pm

to the hater, everyday is daymare every night is nightmare …..hehe

Anfield
Anfield
1 Jun 2019 11.23am
Reply to  Wei

Frederic Pierucci, author of The American Trap, is a former French executive for Alstom who spent time in prison in the US on bribery charges.

His new book on Chinese e-commerce has become a best-seller and a focus of attention after it was reportedly seen on the desk of the founder of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Pierucci explains how his personal experiences with the US reflect Washington tactics now being used with Huawei as it becomes caught up in the US-China tech war.

https://www.scmp.com/video/scmp-originals/3012620/why-huaweis-founder-may-be-reading-american-trap-amid-us-china-tech

Kopi O Ah Pek
Kopi O Ah Pek
2 Jun 2019 8.30am
Reply to  Anfield

Uncle Sam used its self declare veto to musle its way to eventually own that French company via GE. The same could happen to Huawei if Xi China backs down to succumb to Trump.
Boycott Apple.
Switch to Oppo or Vivo if still overconcern with future of Huawei.

Duan
Duan
2 Jun 2019 4.15pm
Reply to  Kopi O Ah Pek

DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said it was ironic that while the United States had introduced the internet to the world — today they are the one proposing to divide the internet in light of China-based telecommunications giant Huawei leading the race in developing 5G network. “Today, the United States is virtually conceding defeat in the race for technological supremacy with China when US President Trump exercised the “nuclear option” and added Huawei and 68 of its non-US affiliates to a blacklist, officially called the Entity List, on May 16 restricting the Shenzen-based company’s ability to purchase hardware, software and services… Read more »

Kopi O Ah Pek
Kopi O Ah Pek
2 Jun 2019 8.33am
Reply to  Wei

Wei can advise us good affordable food at Komtar since he/she works … there? Red Bean ice kacang chendol?

Wei
Wei
3 Jun 2019 11.23am
Reply to  Kopi O Ah Pek

if every leftist cheapskate demand cheap food how are the hawkers going to sustain their business…..ask your boss to pay you cheap can or no can?

Shriek
10 Jun 2019 10.20pm
Reply to  Wei

Tu lang will drive around for chip one ton mee

Anfield
Anfield
5 Jun 2019 2.18pm
Reply to  Kopi O Ah Pek

Chendol price in Penang will likely go up soon since people can fork out RM12 for bubble milk tea?

Anne
Anne
6 Jun 2019 7.41pm
Reply to  Kopi O Ah Pek

Chendol is losing out to the more expensive bubble milk tea now!

tunglang
tunglang
2 Jun 2019 12.02pm
Reply to  Wei

Anil is hinting a financial doomsday for PTMP.
You should be worrying on behalf of Chow Chow.
Not a he-he laughing matter!

Anfield
Anfield
2 Jun 2019 5.10pm
Reply to  tunglang

Chow can laugh he he so long as Gerakan and MCA remain flaccid.

Switch Machine
Switch Machine
3 Jun 2019 3.37pm
Reply to  Anfield

Chow was once a reporter. So Anil can also become a CM if he does not kowtow to dark forces of condominiums. Tell penangites : “I Am Anil Netto”.

Wei
Wei
3 Jun 2019 11.28am
Reply to  tunglang

yeah right doomsday since time immemorial..hehe
your record is broken, go fix it instead of never ending kpkb………

Anfield
Anfield
5 Jun 2019 10.54am
Reply to  Wei

Latheefa can be macc chief.
Who knows what Anil can be one day.

Shriek
Shriek
6 Jun 2019 3.51pm
Reply to  tunglang

Tramp copy tu lang. Kbkb. Making tarif everywhere.