Quietly, quietly, an ad appears in the papers

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It never rains but it pours – and it is raining mega projects in Penang, whichever way you look.

While the groundswell of discontent over the Pan Island Link, the elevated LRT and the massive land reclamation project continues to grow, an ad in the Star on 20 June passed almost unnoticed. It was a request for proposals to “conduct pre-feasibility study for Penang Hill cable car service”.

The controversy over this began when the cable car plan was quietly inserted into the Special Area Plan for Botanic Garden and Penang Hill a few years ago – against the wishes of the consultants involved, I was told.

This was reminiscent of the way a certain someone’s plan for the cross-channel tunnel was inserted into the Halcrow transport masterplan when it was not an immediate pressing need and would instead lead to the greater use of cars.

The cable car plan is the latest in a series of mega projects proposed by the state.

The problem is Penang Hill is reaching – or has surpassed – its maximum carrying capacity of 10,000 persons per day as laid out in the Penang Hill Local Plan after express trains replaced the old trains which travelled at a more leisurely pace.

With even more visitors to the summit – and if we now throw cable cars and more hotels into the mix, Penang Hill could turn it into a Genting Highlands 2.0, losing its charm and tranquillity in the process.

And where is the base station going to be? Imagine tour buses converging in the already crowded Botanic Garden…

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The irony is that this is coming almost 30 years after a Berjaya plan to develop the summit of Penang Hill sparked the successful Save Penang Hill campaign as reported in Aliran Monthly 1990, Vol 10 No 9:

The MOU for the project was signed on 1 September 1990. Less than two months later, at the general election on 20-21 October 1990, then Penang Chief Minister Dr Lim Chong Eu suffered a shock defeat and he was then replaced by Koh Tsu Koon.

Also passing unnoticed is the plan for a four-lane bridge to link Pulau Jerejak to Penang Island and large-scale property development on this historical island – the heritage value of which the state government seems incapable of recognising.

And all this before the massive land reclamation can take off – probably in the middle of next year. The protests have already caught the attention of key social media influencers.

Meanwhile, unhappiness is brewing in different parts of the state.

The approach by the state government and its corporate partners seems to be to try and selesai (settle) each protest separately: the Sungai Nibong mosque community (affected by the LRT), the fishermen in the south (three-island reclamation project), the regular goers to the Sungai Ara Linear Park and the nearby mosque (Pan Island Link highway), the Sungai Ara Tamil School (PIL), the Youth Park visitors (PIL), the Tanjong Tokong fishermen (Tanjong Tokong and Gurney reclamation).

The fishermen in the south are already upset that the public display of the voluminous environmental impact assessment report for the southern reclamation was carried out over the Ramadan/Raya season.

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Yesterday, we witnessed a protest at Komtar over the alignment of the proposed LRT that could encroach into the premises of the Sungai Nibong Mosque. (The state government responded that studies are ongoing and nothing has been finalised.)

At the protest, Teroka chairman Zik urged the mosque community not to look at the project in isolation as something that only affects them as other groups were also affected. He pointed out that one of the main aims of the “PTMP” was to justify massive reclamation off southern Penang Island and to generate large profits for a small group of companies.

What happens when all these various communities wake up and realise that the costs of this sort of “development” outweigh the perceived benefits. They already know certain developers and infrastructure companies are going to profit enormously from these projects while they will bear the brunt of the air pollution, noise, siltation, loss of marine life and the degradation of popular green spaces.

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kah seng
kah seng
22 Jun 2019 8.23pm

Only 1 month for a RFP? Who can complete the concept, design, calculation, presentation in 1 month – except insiders who’s have already had a leg up the entire project? And what is a “pre-feasibility” study? Will it lead to selection of only 1 or several proposals? If only one, why bother to separate “pre” from actual? And “RFP” is definitely not “open tender” – because there are no standard yardstick for comparision. In fact RFP is easily rigged in favour of cronies. As it is made so clear above “…tidak terikat untuk menerima sumua tawaran atau sebahagianya atau mana-mana… Read more »

Anfield
Anfield
22 Jun 2019 10.37pm
Reply to  kah seng

Who can complete the concept, design, calculation, presentation in 1 month?

China contractors can. After all, China can achieve “Impossible Challenge” (挑战不可能), as depicted every Saturday 8.30pm on 8TV.

Shriek
23 Jun 2019 12.41pm
Reply to  Anfield

Follow tony, everyone can follow. Now everyone can visit china”s mountain’s beautiful scene. If Tu Lang goes there, no need to fly. High speed train from Hong Land within 12 hours will arrive. They have built lifts, sky bridge etc. If lucky ah pek can even get senior citizen rate.

Milk Tea
Milk Tea
25 Jun 2019 2.58am
Reply to  Shriek

Shriek, why still stay in Penang? Go find Papa Xi and get an update on your social credit score. You must know one thing, the leadership in China is elected based on merit. Over here, fake degrees and connection. So there is a difference.

Shriek
27 Jun 2019 11.09am
Reply to  Milk Tea

I waiting for you to go to PASs KB as you have mentioned.
Yes, they have actor Jackie and basket ball player ming sitting in the people assembly. If u go there, they will give plastic throw a seat too.

Milk Tea
Milk Tea
25 Jun 2019 3.08am
Reply to  Shriek

I will join in the effort of using more plastic bags and creating more waste because the government is literally faking and doing the same. Please use more plastic straws…nothing compared from the waste being dumped into the sea.

Shriek
27 Jun 2019 11.11am
Reply to  Milk Tea

So far how many bags, sticks have been disposing? No enough? Thank you for going around like gunny man collecting as many as possible and disposing them?

Anfield
Anfield
26 Jun 2019 8.58am
Reply to  Shriek

Witness the engineering feat of China’s construction:
https://youtu.be/Nr3d_E4d2WM

Can install 32 foot slide for commuters at future Penang LRT station:
https://youtu.be/yeFl3LjwuqM

Switch Machine
Switch Machine
23 Jun 2019 7.58am
Reply to  kah seng

Chowrasta Market side extended shading area open tender? Months passed a simple structure halfway erected not completed on schedule. Traders and pedestrians suffer while MPPP can’t even get the tender to finish on time. So we are doubtful ofoPenang Penang Hill project feasibility.

glissantia
glissantia
24 Jun 2019 3.05pm

Penang has become a monument or beacon for (alleged) corruption. Sneaking in rejected projects with minor changes is standard fascism. E.g. Federal PH is now playing a new tune on incinerators, contrary to its stance when in the opposition.

Even a child can tell you that a bridge is cheaper than a tunnel — assuming that (a) more 2-way road capacity is required (b) the 2 existing bridges are jammed (c) the additional parking has been catered for.

Z. Aziz
Z. Aziz
22 Jun 2019 8.36pm

Penang Hill and its surrounding areas has suffered more destruction since 2008 compared to the time since it was first opened by the colonials until 2008, due to actions and inactions of Penang state government. It would seem any hope to stop further destruction can only come from political change in the state.

Wei
Wei
23 Jun 2019 12.09pm
Reply to  Z. Aziz

hehe….to escape development in Penang, migrating to kelantan and terrenganu is a faster solution than to change government…..kekeke

Milk Tea
Milk Tea
25 Jun 2019 2.26am
Reply to  Wei

You know a party is in deep trouble when they need to sell lands to maintain their portfolio. They don’t work for the people, they work for their cronies…

Shriek
27 Jun 2019 11.14am
Reply to  Milk Tea

Like gilakan and dummo. See how much land they sold and trade off? Now see who is chasing after them?

Anfield
Anfield
24 Jun 2019 4.08pm
Reply to  Z. Aziz

Penang development must take care of environment, else to get water and air pollutions like in Johor:
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/06/24/three-more-pasir-gudang-schools-hit-by-possible-toxic-pollution/

tunglang
tunglang
30 Jun 2019 11.27pm

Overhang value exceeded 600% over five years Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2019/06/29/overhang-value-exceeded-600-over-five-years/#hIJ7scRCKzfis818.99 Over a five-year period between 2014 and the end of 2018, the number of unsold completed residentials grew from 11,816 units to more than 45,000 units by the end of 2018, including serviced apartments and small offices home offices (SoHos). This translates to a rise of 281% over the period. In ringgit value, the rise is even greater. The value of residential overhang snowballed by a massive 635%, according to the National Property Information Centre (Napic) records. The residential overhang was valued at RM4bil at the end of 2014.… Read more »

tunglang
tunglang
26 Jun 2019 12.26am

Anil, this article actually has a foreboding for DAP CAT:
Quietly, quietly, God + Nature decide to strike! (on the night of 25 June 2019).

The last few early morning pre-dawn raining on Monday & Tuesday were signs of coming calamities but DAP CAT was obviously blind & stubborn & never learnt except Money.

Anfield
Anfield
25 Jun 2019 10.50pm

Quiet no more.

1Malaysia Penang Welfare Club in 2013 held many public dinners serving Penang hawker food and organised charity concerts with 1MDB money.

Now time to pay back?

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/06/25/plans-underway-to-return-donation-to-media-purportedly-from-1mdb/

Giggle McDimple
Giggle McDimple
25 Jun 2019 8.36am

IMF mentioned Malaysia productivity not improving padt 20 years.

Open tender or direct negotiation has little impact if productivity carries “tak apa” attitudes.

Shriek
27 Jun 2019 11.16am

Why improve when there is short cut. Why lose rights ensure in the highest law? Can even get discount. What is worked by others are negatives by them.

Gabby Benson
Gabby Benson
24 Jun 2019 2.45pm

Despite claiming to be open tender for state projects, we can deny the fact that affirmative action require direct negotiation before another stage of open tender class a to c.

V Ramesh
V Ramesh
23 Jun 2019 12.19pm

Ad in Malay paper targeting bumi contractors?

Honestly Penang need to expand tourism options to attract foreign money as manufacturing sector is now suffering from trade war.

Gooner
Gooner
23 Jun 2019 10.54am

https://www.buletinmutiara.com/phc-calls-for-proposal-to-conduct-pre-feasibility-study-for-penang-hill-cable-car-service/?fbclid=IwAR37UbL5EnnZYUkdI79FmZV3krwHTPlYSgr4Powd3IEMUExg5LOa9FmqkXI

This report came out from Buletin Mutiara (state gov mouthpiece) about the same time as the RFP. Not fair to insinuate that state gov is going about this quietly.

For the record I oppose this project.

Wei
Wei
23 Jun 2019 12.18pm
Reply to  Gooner

state government’s fault , they should deliver notification letter to every PG forum VIP member by hand….otherwise it is deemed as quietly and up to no good..hehe

Anfield
Anfield
25 Jun 2019 10.54pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

Problem is not many read Buletin Mutiara.
Some people collect Buletin Mutiara to sell to karang guni (20 sen/kg) for instant recycling.

Gooner
Gooner
5 Jul 2019 9.57pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

Its just 1 day difference. Shouldn’t amount to that being trying to ‘hide’ it. If they were quietly hiding it they wouldn’t have put in the paper

tunglang
tunglang
22 Jun 2019 10.20pm

Quietly, quietly, Penang CAT Gomen has already pre-determined of someone to do the cable car project.
Simple, if they want to get the best of tenders, they should have announced out loud to attract the best.
It shows CAT acronym is but a bluff!
They never UBAH since 308 & yet expect all of us stakeholders to UBAH via unpalatable development of the quietly, quietly implement.
Such is the demeanour of an arrogant state gomen.

Milk Tea
Milk Tea
25 Jun 2019 2.47am
Reply to  tunglang

Need a new party that can bring NGOs voice in the DUN. Can easily beat PKR at some places, they already goyang. DAP hard abit, DAP’s fake multiracial, scare tactics + benefiting from PASNO alliance strategy will always work. (Despite did nothing for us)

Anfield
Anfield
25 Jun 2019 12.37pm
Reply to  Milk Tea

PKR already goyang in Bayan Baru after the public library is replaced with Swaroski showroom. Gerakan please get ready your service centre to start khidmat, as Pakatan is facing kiamat come GE15.

Don Anamalai
Don Anamalai
27 Jun 2019 5.50pm
Reply to  Anfield

Why PKR still ignore the needs of BB residents?

Just rent a shophouse, air conditioning it, put some tables and chairs, provide newspapers and magazines for reading. Should cost no more than RM10k a month for such simple library/reading room to safeguard the BB votes.

Shriek
28 Jun 2019 9.43pm
Reply to  Don Anamalai

10k a month? Get money like dummo mdb? If library it should be operated by mppp just like any local council in the world. Or it should be part of the community centres around peng land

Shriek
28 Jun 2019 9.45pm
Reply to  Anfield

You mean gilakan does not have a service running now in BB? Or now gilakan is running as bed and breakfast?

Wei
Wei
25 Jun 2019 2.33pm
Reply to  Milk Tea

hehe…any political party that only taking care of NGOs feeling will not last long…it will work in utopia but not in reality….now you can go back to your bubble milk tea..adios