Monster highway approved: Welcome to the Parking Lot of the Orient


The federal authorities’ “conditional” approval for the RM8bn Pan Island Link project will lay the foundation for further congestion in the state five to seven years after the highway is completed.

The 19.5km highway will be one of the most expensive around at RM400m per kilometre. Just imagine RM8bn could have improved public transport in the entire state, according to the original Halcrow masterplan, which has been superseded.

I have written at length about this monster highway; so I won’t repeat what I have said. You can kiss the Penang you know goodbye. Around 5,000 tons of explosives will be used to blast through the sensitive hill slopes of Penang. The highway will also degrade two much-loved parks – the Penang Youth Park and the Sungai Ara Linear Park.

Fat lot of good those 56 conditions will do. How on earth the Department of Environment was able to approve this ecologically disastrous highway, I haven’t the faintest clue. We all know how ‘fantastic’ the monitoring of hill-slope projects in Penang has been.

Minister Yeo Bee Yin told a town hall meeting last year that neither side would be happy with the outcome of the EIA process. Wrong! The state government is thrilled with the outcome (the chief minister calling it a “major milestone”); so too the contractors and developers. But civil society and many, many concerned Penang residents are utterly dismayed.

What a letdown. A big FAIL in the first big environmental test since the last general election on 9 May 2018.

But we shouldn’t be surprised. Such mega projects are tied in with mega construction jobs, massive land reclamation and property development plans. It is Profits before the Planet. So spare us the sanctimonious statements about how this project will be able to reduce congestion when it is well known that highways spur “induced demand” for car travel. Spare us the Penang Green(wash) Agenda 2030. Let’s not worry about traffic emissions worsening climate change; come on, it won’t affect us – we have buried our heads in the sand reclaimed land.

How different is the much longer Pan Island Link from the aborted Penang Outer Ring Road project, which some of those now in the Penang state government once opposed? Remember Orwell’s Animal Farm?

Meanwhile, what has happened to the upgrade to the Penang ferries? Still cannot find RM90m?

Aliran and many civil society groups have slammed the “conditional approval”.

Aliran is utterly shocked and disappointed over the granting of a conditional approval for the environmental impact assessment report for the proposed Pan Island Link highway in Penang.

The Department of Environment approved the report with 56 conditions despite numerous shortcomings highlighted by civil society groups and concerned individuals.

The proposed six-lane highway will be one of the most expensive highways around on a per kilometre basis. Reported estimates for the total cost range from RM7.5bn to RM9.6bn for the 19.5km route, which works out to RM385m-RM492m per kilometre.

The mind boggles at the land deals that will be involved in financing this highway (as well as the equally expensive elevated light rail transit system).

Apart from the exorbitant cost, the PIL will be environmentally disastrous. No amount of “conditions” can mitigate for the damage it will inflict on the island. See full Aliran statement on Aliran website

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And now this:- “Putrajaya approves Penang South Reclamation project” And on this PIL approval. It’s really disgusting how these politicians make a U-turn once they are in power. And I had thought that a Pakatan Harapan government would be different, when they won Penang and Selangor way back in 2008 and won the federal government in 2018. Well, it’s no love lost for Pakatan Harapan from now on. You have shown your true colours – Pakatan Harapan! Next elections, I’ll either stay at home, undirosak or vote for a candidate from a minor party or for an independent,… Read more »


Yes everyone stay at home, and don’t drive to work, shop, eat or holidays


Why bother to move from the border to klang Valley? Stay put or move to rantau panjang like pas kelantan


Lagi best. Why not continue to stay near the border? Why move to klang Valley?


Better to look at your own backyard the kidex. Where is your voice on kidex?


Don’t miss the tree for the forest.
It is the humongous car population due to high propensity for car ownership that started the problem.

Don Anamalai

Don’t complain since everyone in Penang prefers to drive personal car. PIL is just the consequence. No need to blame Chow.


They want fast service. Why they don’t oppose 4Gs and now 5Gs? With 5Gs, they are very happy to comment more.


Why bother to improve the ferry service? Which pg ngos want to take them as shown by decline in ferry ridership. So ah bengs want fast and efficient Point to Point service. Won’t it be the same with roads? Ah bengs take public buses?


hope this document helps in fighting back against all these madness, in case the civil society do not have access of it at the moment when i saw u mentioning it “missing in action” in your Balik Pulau story.

Draft RT Pulau Pinang 2007-2020


Car emission contributes toglobal warming.


in not distant future, technological innovation will make electric car more acceptable to the consumer…


It is oredi happen in EC and China having electric buses. Pg ngos still chasing the tails.


Now already car park everywhere, double and even triple parking on the island!


Oredi so many car factories and assemblies


If triple park, you still drive? Common-sense kaki dua is faster. Double park, push bike is better


Get back the sar lian cheah ie trishaws. More employment. Fish Men instead of fish. More tourist and can take time to explore.


What happen to trishaw riders? They lost their jobs. Why susu teh with his gilakan
gomen speed up their demise?


Hong land build the wan chai bypass costing billions and taking about 9 years just to avoid central which take about half hour to walk from one end to the other. Central is oredi served by mrt, most buses and trams.


U mean car park. Will b gridlock.


Sori pg planning in umno days is not in grid. Semua taroh as you like. Yankees more in grid forms.


yeah…one way to increase traffic is to build more road and widen road…brilliant logic from the transport expert in NGOs..


it is the majority’s wishes…hehe


Are there actual statistics based upon surveys of Penang public opinion about PIL, reclaimed islands and so forth? So far, we only know of the opinion of NGOs and activists opposed to PIL and NGOs and activists in favour of it, with those NGOs and activists opposed apparently more than those in favour but the numbers of both combined are just a drop in the bucket compared to the number of residents in Penang. How about a public referrendum for or against PIL and the state government abide by the will of the majority in the referrendum, whatever long term… Read more »


You sleeping. The islands off island oredi mentioned before last election. Is something new to you but stories for rest.