So if Penang can build an LRT system, why do we need a road-tunnel?

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Not long ago, when activists asked the Penang state government why it was pursuing the cross-channel tunnel-highways option instead of improving public transport, they were told that public transport comes under the federal government and there is little the state government can do about it. Remember?

But no sooner had the land-for-tunnel-highways swap deal been done and dusted, we were suddenly told that the state government is now planning a RM4.5bn LRT route. Federally owned Prasarana and well-connected Gamuda are reportedly in the picture.

How is this possible when until recently, the state government’s mantra was that it had no choice but to undertake the tunnel-highways project because it could not do much about public transport as that fell under federal jurisdiction. We were even told in October 2013 that Prasarana would not even consider a free Rapid Penang bus service during peak hours even though the state government was prepared to pay RM10m annually for the service.

Now even before construction work on the tunnel can begin, we are told that oh yes, the state government can get a federal licence for an LRT system after all. What kind of game is this?

Meanwhile, federal-linked players are interested in the multibillion LRT project. (Of course, they would be, whenever fat contracts are on offer. They do like fat multibillion ringgit contracts, after all. What about the George Town tram system that would cost a fraction of this cost?)

No doubt a big property developer(s) will be lining up, eyeing the land that will be handed over as compensation under the reported land-for-LRT swap deal – much like how Zenith, the tunnel developer, is tying up with Ewein in a property development joint venture over a portion of the land-for-tunnel swap.

Whatever happened to open tenders for the sale of land? Why can’t PDC take charge of any land reclamation independently and any smaller parcels be sold separately at the best price? (And remember reclaimed land is supposed to be leasehold land.) That is of course assuming (a big IF) such reclamation doesn’t harm the environment (including fisheries) and a genuinely independent EIA is carried out, not some farcical charade of a detailed EIA process.

So now that we have an LRT project, we can easily do an Air Itam-George Town-Butterworth Railway Station cross-channel LRT link to connect to the KL-Butterworth double-tracking line – and cancel the ill-advised tunnel project. After all, the Penang transport masterplan consultants, hired by the state government at a cost of RM3.2m, only included the tunnel in its masterplan at the state government’s request. (I overhead one of the consultants asking a state exco member whether they should include the tunnel and highways in the masterplan.)

Have we been taken for a ride on the tunnel?

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terence

Those folks you mentioned should not deprive the needy people requiring affordable homes.

Cik Sukiyaki

Anil, SP Kee, Tunglang & Yang (T&Y), Don Anamalai may each consider the early bid to get affordable housing at Kp Chetty or at CW Choy area; and later form a close-knit community neighbours there to enjoy daily morning kopi o kau kau (specially brewed by tunglang outsourced from Lorong Susu) to review the daily injustice happening on Penang Island ???

willy

Residents of Kg Chetty in Batu Ferringhi, Penang, have been given a flat each to make way for a housing project. The developer of the 30-acre village has agreed to allocate each of the 350 householders a low medium-cost (LMC) unit according to the state government’s “one-to-one” housing policy.

“If they don’t want the LMC units, they will be given RM72,500, the cash equivalent of an LMC unit, by the developer. Kg Chetty residents should be happy,” Jagdeep Singh (State Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman) said.

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Community/2014/07/22/Onetoone-offer-Developer-to-compensate-350-villagers-with-a-low-mediumcost-unit-each/

terence

Buah Pala folks had got a very good deal compared to folks at Kg Chetty?

moot

Car = style
LRT = style
Low speed pedelec bicycle, electric bicycle = no style.

Penang people, apa anda mau ?

willy

Bicycle park at Gama: got style or not depending on the type and brand of bicycle you are using.

tunglang

If you cycle like the Banglas, Vietnamese, Burmese, Indons foreign workers, no class.
But if you cycle with full cyclists gears (helmets, quick dry clothing, shoes) & branded mountain bike or racer, definitely ada kelas.
And how many actually cycle ada kelas to work on any day?
Tis the difference between Penang & the Scandinavian countries.

moot, majority young cyclists in Cosmopolitan Penang mau kelas.
Got to understand them. We are no jealous, actually.

terence

The Gama building is transformed with the addition of bicycle hub, wonder why Anil never highlight this effort that promotes cycling to work at city centre.

willy

The Baby Boomers of Penang should consider investing in the Retirement Village within ‘Pearl City’ at Simpang Ampat (Penang mainland) as developed by Tambun Indah Land Bhd.

http://www.nst.com.my/node/14276

Young boy

So current DAP gomen only elected and serve rich people. I’m glad that I received such confirmation from insiders like you.

henson

young people first instinct reaction when they see young girls neglect them to go after richer young boys definitely blame the gomen (federal or local) for not helping them. as they grow older, they would realise money is not everything. I meant if we are jealous of rich people, our mind wwould never be at peace. Less privileged peoples interms of monetary wealth can be as happy. Peronally to me kopi o kau kau at RM1 does not lose out to RM7.50 medium size starbuck dark coffee (cheapest). However, some young girls somehow prefers starbuck to the disillusinment of many… Read more »

terence

We should not be jealous of rich people with material wealth. Young boy of Gen Y is easily upset over this instead of using it as a motivatiom to strive for a good job with decent pay. Do not be deceived by that ‘future rich man’ and wasted RM300. Enrich yourself with good knowledge and marketable skills. Lead an honest life and be thankful. No need to blame any cat as negative vibes will surround you!

henson

35% of Penangites on island are rich and can afford present cosmo-lifestyles, otherwise the businessmen won’t invest in so much lifestyle shops and exhibitions at sPICE so often ! Why i say so ? My friend works in a Beach Street bank and can testify that many rich Penangites (and neighbouring states Kedah/Perak have been in investing in Penang properties.business since the 60s) have passed on their wealth to babyboomers & Gen X & even Gen Y. Don’t envy them. Learn how their forefathers can accumulate such wealth. If can’t stand “rich’ development in Penang island, just move to mainland.… Read more »

henson

actually i meant don’t be jealous of the rich people in Penang who can afford those lifestyle comforts.
It’s physical indulgence which if we work hard instead of blaming this & that we can also accumulate such wealth that our children or grandchildren can enjoy also later.

also if have the opportunity travel abroad to witness the actual happenings globally so that we have less myopic viewpoints out of jealousy.

OneLife

Your world is made for rich men only?
Your mentality is sama-sama korot as kucing duit.
Die also can bring money underground?
Can blame you like tu kucing suka blame blame.

bigjoe99

How can anyone who really understand Malaysian politics don’t understand. BN cannot be seen to say no all the time especially given the hot issue of public transport. Even if BN cave in, it would not be a simple matter or anytime soon. Just watch, there will be more blaming than a Israel-Palestin fight before the project will see the light of day.. I lived in an area where it has been opposition ever since time immemorial. I remember BN coming every year and promise to fix this bridge when I was a little boy. The bridge got started –… Read more »

terence

BN uses the Gaza issue to sidetrack attention away from the woes of the nation. If Hamas did not want ceasefire or any truce and used civilians as shield, then you cannot blame Israel.

lapala

CAT is collaborating with Barang Naik folks for those highly expensive tunnel, highway etc projects. Otherwise you don’t see the movement (gerakan) to complaint from day one on mainstream papers ! ?

Remember the many comments when SP Sertia being awarded the sPICE project in exchange for land to build houses ? Remember amny outcries including from the infamous Ong Eu Soon ? Now we know SP Setia is part of the national konsortium project and we should then know that CAT has been collaborating with them !

Ananars

SP Setia is being taken over by PNB controlled by the govt and UMNO. Yes indeed the CAT is collaborating with BN & UMNO just like Selangor Khalid on Langat 2 and Kidex. In Chinese it is call lam par par lang. There is one who thought he vote in a new one (CAT) for a new clean DAP govt to replace the corrupt BN UMNO govt. Its good to have this thinking but we must be able to visualize when it is not right. Finally he got one CAT that is willing to cohabit and sleep with the corrupt… Read more »

tunglang

If I have not mistaken, in the Chinese Opera, actors have to play Ho Lang as well as Chhau Lang & sing different voices. We the audience will cheer the Ho Lang, boo the Chhau Lang. Now the CAT Opera has gone on to Episode 2. (Episode 1 = 308). It’s time to play Chhau, Chhau Lang. No need for cheers from same “bodoh” audience b’cos the Opera has made a lot of money by just swapping characters & voices. But at the front row seats reserved for the si kui but “pandai”, there will always be cheers, whether Ho… Read more »

cwf

most banks. Rice, sugar, buses,post offices are under croncies. You vote for it

Ananars

cwf : And you vote the CAT. Well its also going back to not just CAT cronies but BN UMNO cronies as well. Kidex, Langat, tunnel, LRT and land reclaimation are few good examples. Or maybe you forget how the PBA asset have been contra off for 600 millions.

Jenson

Syed Mokhtar Albukhary’s list of assets includes power generation assets, ports, plantations, auto assembly and distribution assets, rice and sugar distribution and banks.

http://www.kinibiz.com/story/issues/58876/the-sprawling-empire-of-syed-mokhtar-albukhary.html

cwf

You love to start wars in state-federal relation. You want to make penangnites loser and vote to sell everything to. Umno.

Untuk Negara

When you mention economical sense, productivity is the currency. The whole Malaysia and Penang included suffer from devalued currency, stuck in middle income trap and low income nation as a results of mediocre productivity. An on time and efficient LRT system for Penang will increase productivity manifold and hence attract top dollar and talent, or what politician like to call FDI. A Penang boy here stuck in KL snail paced traffic for hours getting to office so I do not call KL any more fast-paced compared to Balik Pulau. On the aesthetic part (and oh I do see Penang very… Read more »

cwf

Yang will stronly disagree. He said we are world’s top 35 GDP. Everything is better except lousy government

Ananars

A top 35 GDP countries may not necessary need all these. Open your eyes and see some of the world wealthiest countries before you make silly comment

cwf

You are blind, the one who say Malaysia is top 35 GDP with high income. Dont fork ….

chl

I don’t think changing the government would be the right solution. Look at how Klang Valley’s MRT (or previously LRT and Monorail) was conceived and implemented. We could still be screwed at the end of the day.

What I think is most important is for more people to be aware and concern about what’s going on around us so that a strong voice from the people can get any government back on the right track.

Kevin

It is also important for the govt to listen to the ppl who elected it into power. RIght now, this PR govt says that if you do not like our planning or policies please vote us out. That to me is the wrong attitude. Because of their arrogance and stubborness, they urban voters from Selangor refused to return to vote in Teluk INtan. That costs them a parliamentary seat. If that occurs again in the next GE, PR might lose even more seats. So they must learn to listen to the public whether it is Kidex, Mais, Jais, Tunnel, Bridge,… Read more »

Ananars

DAP & PR have always labelled Gamuda and Prasana as cronies of BN & UMNO. Why did they still want to engage them. Why can`t the CAT call for several companies to tender for the job. Its all very clear that DAP PR are not so clean or uncorruptible after all. .In fact LGE in Penang is just like Khalid in Selangor using untransparent and unaccountable ways…. They are willing to rub shoulders with UMNO cronies. Earlier we see Khalid sitting with Najib, tomorrow you will see LGE … with them. We might as well let BN run the show.… Read more »

william yew

everything the state does is for the state and the people. not for cronies or to enrish certain people. the state’s ability to go forward is very much hindered . Its wings is clipped. so the way out is to be flexible or it will forever lag behind other states.

kee

William, you have got a point, the wings of the pg state govt are clipped by barang naik, so pg govt has to be flexible otherwise it will be 40 years behind time.

Islandjoe

The tunnel should be for a rail system of some sort. If you could link the mainland to key points on the island e.g. George Town, Butterworth, Air Itam, Bayan Lepas then it is a viable option for people working in these areas to leave their cars and commute instead of having tolls, petrol, and parking charges. Not to mention the commute times. This alleviates the housing price pressure in the island. But could it all the parties don’t want this? Price drops mean their reclaimed land is not as valuable? People talking about the next election are dreaming. Wake… Read more »

kee

Islandjoe, i would say the property market esp landed properties will not collapse but it may stay stagnant unless the world is having a great depression.

London, new york, tokyo, hongkong, even singkapore and taipei are for the rich only. Such is life !!!

Islandjoe

Agreed but I’d say only in high end property price category, but with a couple of differences. Those places have bigger populations and far more high income jobs to sustain the market. Penang unfortunately doesn’t. I’d be far more impressed if the govt. did land swaps for something that brought higher paying jobs to the island. Far better for the long term than housing. Also, al those big cities control development so as not to have huge supply dumped onto the market. Unf I don’t think Penang really has its finger on the pulse so mismanagement may affect the existing… Read more »

cwf

Why it was not done by gerakan when they are power or by present federal government like in klang valley? After so many years, when we will do it? Longer, there will be more issues.

Ananars

Have you gone senile. It was in the plan as offered by pak lah

cwf

You are the greatest fool by gerakan. Everyone can have a plan and sweet talk you like a fool since you started to call me name first. That is what umno always do.

Yang

cwf You are really Senile and trying to distract the real situation. Simply can`t digest that it was the Gerakan BN plan but want to use others backside for the CAT face.

rui

Looking forward to the next general election!!!

tunglang

Tomorrow? Can’t wait anymore, what with more unsavoury sandiwaras to come.

In 2 weeks time, many streets in Penang will host Hungry Ghost Ko Tai & Teow Chew Pan (Oriental sandiwara enjoyed by many worldwide).

Teochew Opera Cao Cao (character of art of war): “Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, paaaaaannnnnnnggggg, phuuuuuuuuiiiiiiiiii.”

cwf

Ananars, just wake up. A week ago STAR reported mmc, wct, scomi and ijm are the other interested parties in the lrt tender. You miss the old good gerakan government days with no tender.

Ananars

cwf ; And you are still sleeping. LRT is by Gamuda. the others are for others and did I not said. The CAT LGE is cahooting with BN UMNO just like Khalid. DAP the CAT is hoping to join Bn to replace Gerakan I believed.

abb

we can all disagree with anil. he has been very consistent on his stand for sustainable development.
as for all the criticism of this govt, at least the projects are on open tender basis. land swap value is part of the equation under the tender, by the way.

kee

Yes, abb, seteruk teruknya Dap/pakatan they did engage with the public. They didnt do it behind closed door rendering you and me no chance to object.

Though they are people disagree with the tunnel but they are people who put both hands up. I attended the forum.

How to please everyone ?

Ananars

Gamuda and Prasarana are all behind close door and no open tender

cwf

Penang government open the tender and up to bidders to do what they want. You wa gamuda to let scomi know what offer in thebid?

Ananars

cwf ; Don`t sprout like a fool. In the LRT there is no tender but Gamuda to submit the proposal.

tunglang

How to please everyone ?

Who are you speaking on behalf?
Or is it mid-life tension getting the better of you over this issue?
High blood pressure is bad, more so if staying so far away from Penang GH!

Don Anamalai

I thought the tunnel and the LRT have separate objectives?
– Tunnel to link the island to Butterworth – good for Penangites choosing to live in cheaper mainland (Bagan Ajam).
– LRT is for public transportation within the island, to promote public transportation.

tunglang

Who is not listening to the people’s voice?
The ones with no souls & thin face (poh bin-chui) & no ears @ ground level.
Anil, you’ve done a good job listening to Bagan Ajam folks & sharing with us this undeniable reality, which we folks on the island can emphasise well unlike some of those at a distance (e.g. Sg. Petani with a lot of U-turn junctions & fantasies of Cosmopolitan Penang Frenzied).

kee

Ya Don, maybe you can envisage better than the rest.

Kevin

Why not we link Bagan Ajam or butterworth to Penang with a train/lrt instead of a tunnel for cars? And then provide better public transport for the people of the mainland. There are a lot of not so rich people living there and I am sure they will appreciate good public transport.

tunglang

Kevin: Why not we link Bagan Ajam or butterworth to Penang with a train/lrt instead of a tunnel for cars? And then provide better public transport for the people of the mainland.

Why not recycle/modified Pg 2nd Bridge with an added train / LRT line?
The expensive bridge is under used & cost a lot of taxpayers’ money as time slips by. Those folks who cannot afford being a richie can move on to Batu Kawan & still work in Penang island, developed without soul + heart for the rich & famous & cosmo-fantasy-addicts from a distance (e.g. Sg Petani).

cwf

Any station will bring in cars and crowds. BA will have more jams, buses, cars for park and ride. Unless we are like Singapore or hk with low car ownership

tunglang

Don, just talk to my friends who live in Batu Maung. Besides the daily traffic jam on the coastal road, the 2nd Pg Bridge is underused. The point is traffic dispersal of private cars, transportation vehicles & public transport. No point building more links to the mainland when the island is choked with traffic jams due to increased in vehicles on the road & haphazard road repairs & absence of streamlined networks. The most viable is still trams + LRT + public buses + ferries which can encourage reduce driving of private cars into the city & across the channel.… Read more »

cwf

Very good idea to have houses built in penang port land and getting mca, umno anf syed approval will be easy. Hope not in the past, they buy cheap and sell high. Alsi batu muang is under populated, new houses and highway can be built but more land clearing and bull dozers? What about land ownership. State government pay them cheaply?

tunglang

Twist + Turn + Scratch + Win-Win – this is not a metaphor (a reminder to all CAT minions & worshippers). The problem with all these unbelievables is – the absence of a physical Local Plan. Any thing development looks like it can be retranslated & skewed with great surprises (I heard that the hide + seek Local Plan is still in perpetual translation. Who is the proof-reader?) CHANGE for what? From euphoria after nights of 308 ceramah promises of a better Penang to present day horror of an island turned ‘chapalang’. Of course there will still be the blame… Read more »

Awang Selamat Ori

CAT is not so competent, accoutable and transparent after all? I have mentioned before, these DAP guys are worse than BN, they salivate at the sight of Ringgit Malaysia, and they are much much greedier. They do not have the chances to “buat duit” as they only control Penang, so they will gobble, they will not take small bites, nibbles! This is Die Also Pay! To the DAP, the best thing is always to tell the truth so you do not have to remember anything, but, now even ,Mr. Anil Netto, one of the stronger supporters of DAP/Pakatan Rakyat had… Read more »

Ananars

Damn the CAT

cwf

The federal account general shows there is more greed, wastage and pillage in the federal government. More investment, more clearing, more traffic and more people, more demand and higher prices.

Yang

Tunglang said it loud and clear. The CAT just want Bing Chui even at the expense of the people

tunglang

Creating demand for sea tunnel, LRT, reclaim lands, etc without the reasonable supply @ reasonable pricing (whether dictated by gomen or fairly negotiated by private sector) is bound to create a skewed dd + ss equation. Any father or grandmother of economics will tell you the why & the how. But in Cosmopolitan Penang Frenzied, this equation is easily smoke screened with political theatrics of blame-first pointing back to the lost decades (of Gerakan Era), Fed punching bag + “I told you it’s up to Fed”, Cleaner, Greener Penang (a far-fetched mantra on top of Botak Hill), & excuses of… Read more »

Kevin

That is exactly what I was thinking. Regarding the LRT- A line to Air Itam/Farlim which is such a dense region is needed. Probably even before a line to the airport. Next, Trams would be good in George Town if we can clear up the cars. If your tram system is good like in Melbourne, there would be no reason to drive into town in masses and clutter up the roads with parked cars and motorcycles. Full support for a rail link to the mainland instead of a road tunnel. Regarding reclaimed land- The state should pursue it themselves via… Read more »

cwf

If low yat and bcorp is waiting for umno federal government to grant the 2nd casino licence. Ytl wanted to bot the fast train to sinkapore but again no licence from umno government.