Pg Transport Council’s biggest test could be Porr


The Penang State Exco has set up a Penang Transport Council, whose motto is “moving people, not cars”. The biggest and most formidable challenge for the Council, however, is how it responds to any attempt to revive the highly controversial Penang Outer Ring Road (Porr) project.

The formation of the council, chaired by state exco member Chow Kon Yeow, is a step in the right direction. The Council’s task is to tackle transport problems especially trying to get the public to move away from “over-dependence on private transport to a more economically and ecologically sustainable public transport system. The system will be people-centric and part of the council’s task is also to increase public awareness, participation in and acceptance of such a system.”

The council is made up of “state and city council members, civil servants, university professors, professionals, stakeholders, and members of the public with interest in and knowledge of transport issues”.

The council has embarked on a pilot project to de-congest the busy Pulau Tikus area. But the biggest challenge for the council will come in its response to any plan to revive Porr. The latest edition of The Edge carried a report that Porr could be on the table again.

The paper quoted sources as saying that a private company Daya Aliran Inovasi Sdn Bhd (shareholders Ahmad Ismail and Nordin Chin), with the blessings of the Economic Planning Unit, has submitted a proposal to the Penang government to undertake the project.

On 8 September, Bernama reported that the Penang government is still waiting for feedback from the federal government on the project. Guan Eng reportedly said the state government had sent a few letters to the federal government and the EPU but had yet to receive any response.

Now, Porr would be totally against the vision of the Penang Transport Council to get the public to move away from an “over-dependence on private transport to a more economically and ecologically sustainable public transport system”.

The Penang state government has to state categorically what its positions on Porr and sustainable transport are. It is difficult to see how the two can be reconciled. After all, how can you “reduce use of private cars” if you are building more highways and bridges for private vehicles?

When Porr was first mooted under the BN administration, it received stiff opposition from residents groups, civil society groups, and significant segments of the public. Because of this and other financial constraints, the state government and the company quietly shelved the project eventually.

Now there are rumblings about Porr again. Is there any difference between the BN and Pakatan when it comes to this project? Those pushing for Porr are not thinking about the long-term future of Penang as a sustainable place.

The Penang Transport Council has the following plans. These are commendable, but if Porr returns then that could effectively – and sadly – nullify these noble intentions:


  • Inform public of objectives and plans, solicit input and feedback. Involve mass and alternative media
  • Decongest traffic and enforce rules against illegal parking and traffic blockage
  • Improve public and private car parks
  • Work with Rapid, bas kilang, bas sekolah to improve bus services
  • Start Master Plan process going

Medium Term

  • Build bicycle lanes and improve pedestrian walkways and disable friendly paths
  • Introduce multiple feeder systems to main road arteries – bicycles, smaller buses, trishaws etc
  • Improve taxi services
  • As bus service improves, introduce mechanisms to reduce use of private cars such as peak hours fees, area road pricing, incentives for car pooling, disincentives for single occupant cars during peak hours etc.
  • Improve and extend ferry service and water taxis
  • Review all mega-projects

Long Term

  • Implementation of Master Plan for whole state
  • Integration of different transport modes – buses, cars, trams, ferries, rail – one ticket system
  • Continuous public education programs
  • Park and ride points, e.g. PISA, Jelutong Expressway etc.
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11 Jan 2011 4.37am

Agree with the statement made by Karen. YES to PORR!

5 Oct 2009 12.23am

I live in tg bunga, 2nd day of Hari Raya (21September) i took at bus 104 (Rapid Penang) to Komtar, i had to wait 45 minutesfor it. But schedule says 30mins. Again, busses in Penang cannot meet to the time planned/schedule. Why? Buses got to manouvre in between the traffics. The “surface subway” modelled Bogota, looks nice but we have to be practical in cost, land acquisition in Penang which will cost bomb-shell & with limited land in Penang versusu cost for Monorail. Maybe :- 1. certain routes can be implemented like Bogota devoted one lane for bus, 2. certain… Read more »

15 Sep 2009 8.35pm

instead of building the PORR as another tolled highway, would it feasible to transform it into BRT (bus rapid transit)? the infrastructure is much easier to maintain and upgrade in future. only public transports (and private buses) are allowed to run on it (or only open to public during non-peak hour) now who will say that our public transports are slow like snail 🙂 since the main objective is to moving people, it is better to ensure the “smooth” experience of the mass transportation vehicles than those private cars. this will act like positive reinforcement to people to choice public… Read more »

12 Sep 2009 4.07am

Sorry, Anil.

Wong Ka Wai
12 Sep 2009 2.57am

Ok anil kali terakhir saya nak tambah,

hello nkkhoo,

bukankah baik jika perbincangan di blog anil ini wujud pelbagai bahasa?

Malaysia Truly Asia bagus tak?

Wong Ka Wai
12 Sep 2009 2.19am

Jadilah budak baik. Jangan hina orang guna Bahasa Melayu itu cacat Inggeris.

Oklah, saya pun hormat tuan punya blog ini dan kembali ke topik asal.

12 Sep 2009 2.09am

I suggest Penang government to launch bond/funds for PORR instead of relying on private money from UMNO warlord.

I’m willing to invest my money in if PORR-bond is mananged by professionals.

12 Sep 2009 1.59am


12 Sep 2009 1.42am

Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t think fluency in or preference for BM is a necessary measure of patriotism. To me, it doesn’t matter if a person speaks English, BM, Chinese, Tamil, Thai, Hindi, French, German… it is what is inside that is important. === That fella blatantly labeled non-BM speaking Chinese is living in isolation and causing disunity. See how irrational that BM speaker in his mind. Talking about national identity. Malaysians are notorious for talking big in everything, but mostly their projects end up on paper. Firstly, I do not object and criticize Wong to use his… Read more »

11 Sep 2009 7.43pm

Eu Soon – make me laugh

11 Sep 2009 4.36pm

nkkhoo, Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t think fluency in or preference for BM is a necessary measure of patriotism. To me, it doesn’t matter if a person speaks English, BM, Chinese, Tamil, Thai, Hindi, French, German… it is what is inside that is important. I don’t know Wong Ka Wai and don’t necessarily agree with all his comments, but in the same way that it is OK for anyone to use English, it is also OK for Wong Ka Wai to use BM. I may be wrong, but your comments make me feel as though you’re antagonising him… Read more »

Phua Kai Lit
Phua Kai Lit
11 Sep 2009 10.13am

Dear Progressive Friends

There was a very interesting programme on pay TV
the other day on how Seoul tackled its
traffic problem i.e. using buses, the subway,
computerisation and DISMANTLING a motorway!

Wong Ka Wai
11 Sep 2009 9.16am


berpendapatan = berpendapat

Wong Ka Wai
11 Sep 2009 9.12am

Kepada nkkhoo, saya tahu kerana tindakan UMNO sudah menyebabkan kamu benci terhadap segala-gala yang berkaitan dengan Malaysia. Saya ini manusia biasa. Saya tidak mempunyai kebolehan yang luar biasa. Biarpun saya masuk unit tentera, keadaan makro bukan boleh diubah oleh saya sendiri sahaja. Ia perlu diubah oleh ahli politik dan orang-orang awam secara beransur-ansur. Soal sekarang ialah adakah kita bersedia berbuat demikian? Tahukah anda semua kawan-kawan saya dari tadika sampai ke kolej masih saya kekalkan sebab apa? Sebab saya tidak mengambil kira Bahasa Melayu itu tidak setanding Bahasa Inggeris. Jika kamu berpendapat Bahasa Melayu itu bermakna patriotisme, kamu salah. Pernahkah kamu… Read more »

11 Sep 2009 7.56am

Ho soohuey…

When I worked as an expatriate in Indonesia, Malaysian identity is not speaking BM.

Foreigners recognize we Malaysians (specially Chinese and Indian) are hardworking and responsible professionals. That MNC fired a whole team of Singaporeans and replaced them with Malaysians for above mentioned “identities”. These identities differentiate us from Singaporeans.

11 Sep 2009 7.45am

Hi soohuey… I have worked along side with many India s Indians in 90s. English is their official language does not make them less Indian and patriotic. Do Malaysians in overseas celebrating our national day like singing national anthem, flag raising, prayer in a gathering? I observed that Indians and Indonesians in overseas are no shy to show off their pride for their country in the national day’s gathering held on the foreign land. My business partner is leaving for Australia soon for his sons’ educational prospect. He loves Malaysia as many of us, but too sick with UMNO racial… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon
11 Sep 2009 7.15am

LGE and KTK are no different, both are for PORR. If LGE has the money, he will not hesistate to launch the PORR project which Penang DAP vehemently opposed.
LGE only want DEVELOPMENT, which is something he does not really understand.

11 Sep 2009 6.34am

nkkhoo… why have you lowered yourself to do some chest-thumping of your own?

Saya tidak tahu mengapa Wong Ka Wai tetap menggunakan Bahasa Malaysia dan bukan Bahasa Inggeris. Namun, sebagai rakyat Malaysia, dia tidak bersalah menggunakan Bahasa Malaysia dalam pertuturannya dengan rakyat Malaysia yg lain dalam blog yg membincangkan isu2 semasa Malaysia.

11 Sep 2009 6.04am

nkkhoo, Racial politics has created a polarization in universities as well as in schools, and I believe influence starts right from home prior to schooling. I agree it is not just the Chinese who aren’t putting enough effort to get to know other races. Majority of Malaysian society is like that due to policies and chest-thumping that go on everyday in our nation. But that doesn’t mean the more socially conscious people can’t try to be different. For me, being comfortable with the use of BM is about national identity. Without it, there will be nothing to differentiate us from… Read more »

11 Sep 2009 4.19am

wong ka wai…If any local graduate cannot write in simple English, you shall blame the BM education system introduced in early 70s by UMNO-led government.

The sons and daughters of our BN politicians are studying in the overseas and mastering English. While our poor rakyat are brainwashed to believe that using BM is an act of patriotism.

Writing in BM (maybe to conceal own weakness in English) does not make you more patriotic than others.

11 Sep 2009 1.14am

soohuey, wong ka wai…

FYT, I had beaten all Malay students in BM subject when I was in secondary school.

Many people have misconceived that Chinese and Japanese graduates are very poor in English. They may be handicapped in English oral skill, but they have no problem to read reference books written in English unlike many local students.

BM is still weak and worthless in science, technology and engineering applications.

I have totally shunned the BM after my graduation for non-value added reason.

Speaking and writing BM is more patriotic is just another stupid propaganda by UMNO.

11 Sep 2009 12.57am

Wong Ka Wai September 10th, 2009 at 6.11pm Kepada nkkhoo, sebab itu kaum Cina hidup dalam kelompok kaum sendiri sahaja. Perpaduan tidak akan tercapai jika berlaku begini. === Sorry, you can call yourself anak Malaysia forever, but does the present government recognize such one way patriotism. Talking is cheap. Have you taken action to work along with Malays to serve and protect this country like joining army or police? Did Malay, Indian and others take initiative to mingle around with Chinese and other races? Why students in local universities living according to their own color while no such obvious racial… Read more »

10 Sep 2009 9.19pm

Do watch the show again!


It explains everything even towards the KBP issue

10 Sep 2009 6.40pm

In case I open a can of worms with my previous statement about Sc & Maths in English… Let me ask those who argue and insist sc & maths should be taught in BM: 1. How many of you were actually taught in BM? I find many who comment were actually taught in English and because of declining standards assume that the change in medium of instruction is the root of our problem. I disagree and believe that we will still produce poor science/maths graduates if our syllabus continues to involve just rote learning. If you want to improve their… Read more »

10 Sep 2009 6.26pm

nkkhoo, I’ve been living overseas for 8 yrs, but I keep my Facebook, Hotmail and gmail in Bahasa Malaysia just so I don’t forget the language. I find it helps. So far on this post I can see 4 people (besides Anil): WKW, LYB, you and I. That makes at least 50%!!! Btw, for the record, I think science and maths should be taught in BM and I’m a scientist. I’m a molecular biologist who is attached to a research institute overseas and have attended & presented at prestigious international scientific conferences and meetings. I studied at SMK CPT (a… Read more »