Review Pan Island Link highway in Penang


Aliran came up with a statement on the controversial Pan Island Link the other day:

Aliran recognises that urban centres like the Klang Valley and Penang are faced with a serious problem of congestion on the roads. We therefore welcome federal and state government efforts and initiatives to resolve the problem.

The recent expansion of free bus services named the Congestion Alleviation Transport (CAT) in collaboration with Rapid Penang, on 12 selected routes in the Penang is a good example of such initiatives (though a review needs to be carried out to gauge its effectiveness).

In addressing the problem of traffic congestion, it is important to ensure that investments in transport infrastructure promote sustainable mobility and inclusivity (the rights of pedestrians, bus users, cyclists, people with disabilities, marginalised communities, etc). The overriding principle should be moving people, not cars.

Several factors would need to be considered.

The investments need to be in transport modes that are financially viable to operate. Projected ridership and revenue figures need to be realistic and sufficient to justify the investment and meet operating and maintenance costs.

The investments and their financing model should have a minimal impact on the ecology. Given the present era of climate change, these investments must lead to reduced emissions and a lower carbon footprint. This is critical to achieve Pakatan Harapan’s pledge to cut carbon emissions by 40% by 2020.

Crucially, investments must be in line with an enlightened urban transport masterplan prepared by acknowledged independent experts in sustainable mobility.

It is well known that building highways is not a long-term solution for congestion as it will only encourage more people to drive – a phenomenon known as “induced demand” – and result in more emissions and pollutants.

We note that in Penang, many concerns have been raised regarding the RM8bn six-lane Pan Island Link highway which will pass near schools and neighbourhoods and above public parks and tunnel through three faultlines on the hills, although it is understood the intention is to keep disruption to a minimum.

Nevertheless in the interest of increasing transparency, disseminating accurate information, raising awareness and deepening understanding of the issues, we call on the Penang state government to put online the 20-volume RM46bn transport proposal formulated by Southern Reclaimation Scheme (SRS) Consortium.

We also call upon the Department of Environment to extend the public display of the environmental impact assessment for the Pan Island Link by two months. The EIA process should not be treated as a mere formality but should seriously consider the public feedback received and consider all sustainable alternatives.

We also call on the federal government to commission a review of the SRS proposal in light of the original Halcrow transport masterplan to be undertaken by independent world-renowned experts in sustainable mobility.

It is time we introduced the practice of a strategic environmental assessment (SEA), before an EIA is carried out – something that is required within the European Union. This would ensure a systematic assessment of the environmental, sustainability and social effects of strategic land use-related plans such as regional and local transport plans.
READ MORE: Halt all hill-slope development, demand Penang civil society groups

In the meantime, we should implement the measures that can promote sustainable mobility recommended in the Halcrow transport masterplan strategy and institutional plan. There is a great need to develop our institutional and technical competence to understand the issues and make the right choices. It is also time to improve and expand the ferry service, which was one of the recommendations in the report.

Aliran executive committee
28 August 2018

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Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown will launch her first book – ‘The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose’ – in Petaling Jaya this Saturday. There is another book signing session in George Town at the Penang Institute on Sept 13 at 8pm. The 528-page book traced her globe-spanning pursuit of the 1MDB scandal, her encounter with whistleblower Xavier Justo, the tip-offs from the Malaysian authorities, the involvement of Hollywood glitterati and how Malaysia made her a public enemy, among other highlights. The book promises to be “a stranger-than-fiction tale of how one woman uncovered the world’s biggest… Read more »

Shrieking Tunglang

Anil hopefully can interview Clare when she is in Penang ?


Desperate imitator!


Ah pek who is mother of all Trolls?


Clare should instead visit Anil the blogging influencer of Penang.

Ho Wan Lai

Shrieking Tunglang could have balanced comments from both tunglang and shriek?


Check up the new comic book on the life of the late Karpal Singh.

I think it is from the same publisher of that LGE comic book.

Ho Wan Lai

If NGOs have resources, do present a Preview of what’s the alternative to CAT proposed Penang Transport Plan. Anil can provide the narrative for the video presentation?


PlL is a strategic project to develop the current forest reserves for housing etc, on both sides of highway.

Unless the forest are protected reserves, no amount of complaints from NGOs or Penangites will change the plan.


The government will retain the loss-making Penang ferry service and see to its improvement, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said today.

He said the ministry was looking at how the iconic service could be improved and studying its operation and model.


‘Bad vibes’ from Penang highway construction can drive out factories, says activist !

GEORGE TOWN: An activist said a proposed highway in Penang may drive out high-value factories due to “excess vibrations” from the construction of a proposed elevated highway across an industrial zone on the island.

Penang Heritage Trust president Lim Gaik Siang said the worst affected would likely be the precision manufacturing factories at the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone (FIZ).

Tan Wee Theng

it would be a great idea if one could shuttle via ferries to and fro Bayan Lepas, airport, Gurney Drive, Teluk Bahang, Kuala Muda, Nibong Tebal.


Bath Caves turned colourful, care not for heritage.

Penang ferries now also colourful.

What’s next to be colourful?

Ma jiji

Now, we have the famous geo-consultant Dato’ Ir. Dr. Gue See Sew come out to defend the PIL 1. Dr. Gue is of course, well-qualified to speak on the subject given the credentials on his vast experience.


Proton X70 SUV will roam Penang highway soon. tunglang interested?


True. With this cheap Geely SUV, unlikely for Penang folks to take bus or LRT.

Mah HS

Are you sure X70 (no nusantara name for once!) can be a cheaper substitute to Honda CRV or Hyundai Sportage?


Latest CAP periodical has a detailed, multi-part write-up of the whole scam.

Capitalism always corrupts.

Stylo Logan

CAP better ensure no unnecessary price hike by hawkers and mamak Nani Kansas to add to our burden.


CAP please ensure the China-import powerbanks on sale here meet safety standard. Faulty ones can cause fire.


Now! Transport Minister Anthony Loke also object the PTMP! What say you nuts ? Down with the Penang DAP ig !

GEORGE TOWN, Sept 6 ― The Light Rail Transit (LRT) system that Penang is pushing for may not be the ideal solution to the state’s transportation needs, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke.


Yes, pf and anil still harping on tram which proposed by half crow.


Maybe can have a team circling the heritage zone that is made car-free? Can be a joyride for tourists.


Of course foc for tourists. Tell us how tourists will go about in their tours? How tourists know the jalan2? If they drive and get an accident, they can’t go back. They have to answer and fined if in the wrong


No go only for LRT because Anthony knew Penangites will not take LRT that does not stop directly at their doorsteps. A fact that CM Chow must acknowledge.