Before the general election, they told us that we would become a net importer of oil by 2011.
Now, with the sharp oil price increase, they tell us we can remain a net exporter of oil until 2014-2015. You see, domestic demand will slow down. Some of us might turn to bicycles – and even live to tell the tale, given the notorious absence of bicycle lanes on our roads.
Excerpt from Reuters:
“It will be postponed if the demand does not grow at the rate that it should grow,” (Petronas) Chief Executive Mohd Hassan Merican was quoted as saying by state news agency Bernama.
He added: “If the rate is reduced from six percent (demand growth annually) to four percent, it will be extended by three to four years to 2014 or 2015.”
You work it out to see if it makes sense. I am tired of doing calculations!
I suppose we should be celebrating. (Peeks out of the front door) Nope, no one outside dancing in the streets.
So what are we going to do with all that oil money for a few years longer now? Squander it on more useless projects? Or really invest in cost-efficient forms of public transport (hint, hint, what about trams?!) and a quality universal public health care system?
Article’s URL: http://sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=22905
Groups: Bring back the tram to Penang
By: Diana Chin (Wed, 04 Jun 2008)
GEORGE TOWN (June 4) : Citizens groups in Penang have initiated a lobby to have the billion-ringgit monorail project replaced with a tram system in the state.
The movement stems from an increasingly popular notion that the monorail is far too costly and would bring about adverse effects to the heritage streets and green landscape of Penang.
‘Penangites for Tram’ campaign coordinator Anil Netto explained that investment required for developing a tram network would be much lower than for constructing the monorail.
“The tram is a more substantial choice as we can revive the system based on already existing old tram lines that Penang used to have, thereby eliminating excessive additional costs,” he said.
Netto said trams would blend in with George Town’s heritage and greenery, while the monorail would obstruct views of buildings and mar the attractiveness of the island.
He said a good tram system would also encourage people not to drive private vehicles within the town area, allowing them to save following the increase in fuel charges.
“If we give the people a better alternative in public transport, there will be less traffic congestion and more parking spaces in town,” he said.
As the roads of Penang are narrow, they suited the concept of the trams, he added. The campaign is currently being supported by 25 bloggers and websites.
Heritage writer Khoo Salma Nasution noted that the Penang Island Municipal Council was the first local government to introduce electric trams in the inner city in the early part of the last century.
“People think the tram is a thing of the past, but they are wrong because it is actually the thing of the future,” she said.
“It is clean, energy saving and user-friendly not to mention fast, efficient and also cheap.”
She said the tram could provide an iconic identity for Penang and help revitalise the heritage of the inner city.
Khoo, who published a book titled ‘Penang Trams, Trolleybuses & Railways: Municipal Transport History 1880s-1963’,said trams could also help traffic calming in Penang’s roads.
Aliran and Penang Heritage Trust activist Ahmad Chik said the campaign is calling for a traffic master plan for Penang that would include feasibility studies for trams as compared to monorails and underground transit systems.