Penang transport masterplan: A closer look at SRS Consortium

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Let’s take a closer look at SRS Consortium:

This is a joint venture that was appointed as project delivery partner (PDP) for the massive Penang Land Reclamation and Property Development err, Transport Masterplan on 14 August 2015.

The consortium comprises:

  • Gamuda Bhd (60%)
  • Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd (20%), a medium-size developer led by Alex Ooi with projects mostly in Penang.
  • Loy Phoy Yen Holdings Sdn Bhd (20%), believed to be related to another developer, the Boon Siew Group.

SRS Consortium was picked from six bidders.

(Press reports had long before tipped Gamuda as favourite. Times have changed. Soon after coming to power in 2008, the Pakatan state government had a prickly relationship with Gamuda over MMC-Gamuda Joint Venture Sdn Bhd’s then ongoing project, the railway double-tracking, and even issued stop work orders, reportedly for an alleged failure to submit layout plans and for allegedly causing floods in Jawi.)

SRS is supposed to be the project manager, consultant, and guarantor for delivery of project on time and within budget. Apparently, it is also supposed to oversee the tender process. For this, the consortium stands to earn 6% as its PDP fees, which could come up to a couple of billion ringgit. This will probably be on top of other PDP expenses, which may add up to quite a large sum.

Some questions arise:

  • What experience and track record in major transport infrastructure do the two property development firms bring to the consortium?
  • Will Gamuda and these two property development firms be satisfied with just the PDP fees? Will they also bid for transport infrastructure, land reclamation and property development contracts? If so, how will the tender process be overseen and how effective and independent will the tender oversight be?
  • Who is paying for the detailed EIA of the land reclamation? If SRS is responsible for handling this, including paying the EIA consultants, how independent can such a study be?
  • Will the EIA be carried out before or after the signing of the PDP agreement? What if the EIA and other impact studies show an averse impact on the communities along the coast? What happens to the masterplan then? Will we hear the same old threat tune about compensation having to be paid if the project does not go ahead?
  • Who will own and run the LRT, etc once it is up and running? What if it incurs losses? Who will absorb any operational losses after the developers, infrastructure contractors and PDP consortium earn their hefty fees and profits?
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Anon

You should investigate: was there any party – individual or corporate – that brought these three companies together to form this SRS consortium? If so, has this individual or corporation been appointed to any position within SRS that you are not aware of? Are there any kickback, reward or commission to this individual or corporate? In fact, who would be this individual or corporate that has successfully put up such a good deal?

gk ong

Anil should also take a closer look at ‘Ultra Kirana’, a likely crony-linked company to benefit from the service charge of the ‘e-Visa’ initiative from 2 Jan 2016.

benny

Tourism Malaysia Chairman is unhappy with Ultra Kirana managing e-visa.
http://malaysiagazette.com/en/chinese-newspaper/choo-keong-does-not-want-ultra-kirana-manage-e-visa

benny

Interesting article on The Star yesterday:

Cars are more expensive than houses?
http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2015/12/12/cars-are-more-expensive-than-houses/?style=biz

Bottom line of the article by Alan Tong:
And for those who still wish to buy a car, think twice as owning a car is too expensive and unaffordable – it may also cost you your home.

gk ong

This morning on TV1 Selamat Pagi Malaysia, the Perunding Kewangan advised the malay audience (most non Malays do not watch TV1 nowadays) not to take car loan that is more than 5 years to keep within your affordability in the segment of ‘Gaya hidup beban kos sara hidup’.

Message is to ubah gaya hidup and not to complain on barang naik.

benny

Will we ever get a truly car-free city?
http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/dec/09/car-free-city-oslo-helsinki-copenhagen?CMP=share_btn_fb

Oslo is the latest city to announce plans which shift the focus away from cars – by banning all private vehicles from the centre by 2019. Car-free days have slashed pollution in Paris while new eco-cities are aiming to design out the need for vehicles – but will cars in cities ever be consigned to history?

chl

Anil,

Need some education. If the state had put forth a masterplan that’s less on road building but more on public transport, what do you think would be the challenges for such plan to get federal approval, funded and implemented successfully?

Just trying to think from the other perspective to understand if there are other factors (or misassumptions) that might have led to a masterplan that’s putting priority on road building than fixing/improving public transport.

kuning cilik

If public transport becomes popular, many car-related business will suffer. The bigger problem is insufficient car park space at city centre causing haphazard parking due to high vehicle density. I do not mind the CAT government implement electronic road pricing and use the money collected to fund public buses.

Tan Wee Theng

Anil, if you were to wake up tomorrow to find that you have been given absolute power to do anything you like for the betterment of Penang and its people but with current resources, how would you go about doing that? I have been following your blog for a long time and have read a lot of your ideals in piece meal fashion. Could you give us a holistic view of a better Penang Master Plan where there is sustainable economic growth, good governance and a stress free natural environment. Please share with us your ideal way forward. I am… Read more »

Reggie Bollie

Is bicycle lane part of the transport plan?