‘Silent majority’ supports Penang mega highway – Really?

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Our guest writer today is Eric Cheah, a concerned Penangite.

Two and a half weeks ago, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow reportedly rebutted ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak’s criticism of the proposed Pan Island Link phase one (PIL1), a key infrastructural component of the so-called “Penang Transport Master Plan” (PTMP).

Chow was reported as saying that the silent majority wanted PIL1, perhaps alluding to the response  at a town hall meeting at Spice on 20 September 2018.

But then most of those who lined up at the mikes during the question-and-answer session voiced opposition or anxiety over the project.

In any case, silence among the wider public does not mean consent. It could just mean ignorance about the project details or just plain apathy.

An extraordinary episode at the 20 September meeting was one of Minister Yeo Bee Yin’s final statements. As she stood behind the chief minister and other state leaders, Yeo made an enigmatic remark, as if to assure the Penang people: “Don’t worry, they are not taking money!”

Many in the audience were perplexed as no one in opposition to PIL1 had alluded to the possibility of corruption! Could it be that the minister was alarmed at the magnitude of the opposition and she felt she needed to say something to shore up the plummeting credibility of the state government?

Penang Forum hands over 2,000 objection letters to Yeo Bee Yin – Photograph: A concerned Penangite

The funding model for the RM46bn PTMP, of which PIL1 would require at least RM7.5bn, is the sale of reclaimed land on three artificial islands by the state government.

READ MORE:  Rush-hour protest at Tanjung Tokong against land reclamation, mega highways

Any interested buyers of some RM46bn worth of reclaimed land would have to put up expensive residential or commercial developments perhaps with a gross development value of RM200bn. Any takers?

The cashflow for the PTMP, however, would be a problem – which is why the state government is seeking a bridging loan from the federal government ie using public funds.

We should also mention that the battle of the two online petitions, for and against the PTMP, stood at 10,000-3,000 in August. Interestingly enough, by November 2018, the pro-PTMP cyber-troopers could only muster another 2,500 votes, whereas the online petition opposing PIL1 swelled to 19,300. Perhaps more people signed against the PIL1 after the Bukit Kukus tragedy in October 2018. From a ratio of 10:3 in favour of PIL1, the situation changed dramatically to 2:3!

In light of the above, the chief minister’s statement that the silent majority support PIL1 is wishful thinking.

What we Penang people can look forward to if PIL1 is launched is massive environmental degradation, increasing and worsening floods, traffic jams, landslides and an ever-present risk to the Air Itam Dam and the safety of those in the Air Itam valley and beyond. All for what?

Another foreseeable risk is possible financial difficulties to the state. By then, the people of Penang will be able to decide whether the D in DAP stands for democratic or for developers.

PIL1 and PTMP are a classic case of overreach.

Eric Cheah is a concerned Penangite.

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gk ong
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gk ong

The priority is to push for a car lite society making people take public transportation!
Otherwise roads and highways will continue be built to meet the car purchase frenzy!

Wei
Guest
Wei

hehe..car is not only for rich and no job NGOs to go yum cha every morning…motor vehicle is required for transportation of goods and delivery of services which is essential to the economy…

Song
Guest
Song

The making of Penang’s very own Central Park in historic Sia Boey https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2019/03/10/the-making-of-penangs-very-own-central-park-in-historic-sia-boey/1730936 GEORGE TOWN, March 10 — Located on the boundary of George Town and the buffer zone of the Unesco world heritage site, Sia Boey is poised to be the city’s very own Central Park. The former busy marketplace, which was vacated back in 2004, will soon be transformed into a RM5 million urban park surrounded by mature canopy trees with a pristine canal running through it. The market hall which dates back to the 1880s, along with its concrete tables used by previous market traders, will be… Read more »

Ah Nan
Guest
Ah Nan

Can always count on readers to provide update on good development in Penang.

Weather now very hot, can take Cendol to keep cool.
See this recommendation from PCK:

george tham
Guest
george tham

good, good

Ma jiji
Guest
Ma jiji

Penang where got MONEYS ?

Shriek
Guest

Plenty of cars plenty of money unlike in the past plenty of boon siew kapcai and kalachar. I

Shriek
Guest

Pg no money? Where cars come from and commentors looking for food feast? You no money and so free to comment?

Ho Say Liao
Guest
Ho Say Liao

Silent Majority of Penangites seeking free food on offer, get hold of them to support your call for less cars on the road.

Terence Ho
Guest
Terence Ho

People complain only if the road of highway built is near their home. Ironically they would use the infrastructure without complain elsewhere. So for selfish reason I suppose.

Hillside Resident
Guest
Hillside Resident

Silent majority or noisy minority or noisy majority or whatever, all these are reflected in the past General Elections and General Elections to come. Please don’t assume Penang people are ignorant that needs these NGOs to stand up for us.
I had mentioned before, those championing alternative plans to the PIL, etc should stand for elections based on your manifestos to have an official platform to make changes should they be elected in,otherwise it is just noise.

gk ong
Guest
gk ong

I think they should promote car pooling, get their children to take RapidPenang instead of just protesting.

Milk Tea
Guest
Milk Tea

PTMP is garbage. I like to make noise like how your boss, DAP like to make racial charged statements that actually backfires and threatens the non-Malays.

Wei
Guest
Wei

gelakan sour grape is good for laugh…hehe

george tham
Guest
george tham

agree with you fully. Let them build lah. what’s wrong with building infrastructures for penang ? i say let them build. as for those attending and voicing out negatives, we don’t know who they are. even najib razak complains against these PIL thing. you think he has penang’s good in his heart ?

this, of course is my humble opinion. and i’m not smart or informed enough to contribute further

Song
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Song

Penang ferries can lighten traffic flow https://www.thesundaily.my/opinion/penang-ferries-can-lighten-traffic-flow-KY670639 An efficient ferry service linking Weld Quay on the island and Butterworth on the mainland will attract more cars and people and thereby reduce the traffic congestion on the first Penang Bridge and along the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway. Penang is both an economic hub and tourist destination. New transport plans must be smart and integrated to balance the competing needs and desires. An expanded and efficient ferry service could serve both these needs without the very large infrastructural costs of a cross-strait undersea tunnel. Connecting an expanded ferry service to… Read more »

Song
Guest
Song

Gerakan will go back to its roots by focusing on Penang in the next general election following the partnership of the biggest Malay-based parties in the country.

https://www.thesundaily.my/local/gerakan-to-focus-on-penang-after-umno-pas-alliance-ND665917

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

The general election is a referendum of DAP’s policy decisions by Penangites. The fact that they continue to win the state by landslide is proof of the silent majority. Many of us are not ignorant or stupid, we simply did not want to take up pitchforks like you did. Neither did we belittle those that have a different opinion like you did.

Wei
Guest
Wei

NGOs suffer from “syiok sendiri” syndrome….hehe

Milk Tea
Guest
Milk Tea

The reason that DAP wins on a landslide is because there aren’t any better alternative for non-Malays. I am sure majority of DAP voters in Penang don’t even know what PTMP is, they just follow people like “he-he-he” and “shriekers”. Many of them are just blind supporters that think DAP will ever champion them. Nope, DAP main agenda will only cause the non-Malay to face more harm and threats. The only think we get is all the ugly developments that DO NOT WORK.

Ah Nan
Guest
Ah Nan

Umno-PAS alliance will harp on issues of race and religion to garner support, and once in power, will implement extreme policies to victimise non-Malays and moderate Malays.

Shriek
Guest

Good stand or sit for election as you have better alternative?

Shriek
Guest

Who are the religious and racial extremists? Chinese party with more than 2 ministers. Pkr multi racial but with same ministers

Junaidah
Guest
Junaidah

Coming from Kelantan but residing in Penang after my USM graduation, I am thankful of the development of Penang unlike the backwardness of my home state.

gk ong
Guest
gk ong

Yes, time stand still in Kelantan.

Wei
Guest
Wei

another gem found for Tu lang,milk tea et al, beside Taiping…all the peace, tranquility and next to zero development you could ask for.. so unlike sinful penang…hehe

Song
Guest
Song

No investments or jobs force Kelantan youth to flee state.
https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/139871

Shriek
Guest

Many development in peng land unable bulldozer tung land or susu teh from peng land

Song
Guest
Song

KFC at that historic building at Jalan Larut, Penang, will cease operation after 33 years. Last day this Friday 15 Mar.

http://www.orientaldaily.com.my/s/282388

What will happen to the building?

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Will it face the same (destruction) fate as Madam Pykett (historic bungalow destroyed in the dead of night opposite Pykett School)? We will see.

Shriek
Guest

Tung land and pg forum do not think it is historical bldg. A commercial bldg

tunglang
Guest
tunglang

Imagine how monkeys tend to destroy a pristine or a backyard garden where no one sees their acts & remains silent in bliss!

Song
Guest
Song

Job cuts in Penang, really?

Penang factories downsizing due to slower global economy, says Invest Penang
https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2019/03/11/penang-factories-downsizing-due-to-slower-global-economy-says-invest-penang/1731490

Shriek
Guest

After so many moons and sabotage the transport centre is dead?

Martyn Johnson
Guest
Martyn Johnson

Why not have a referendum? Ha ha !

Wei
Guest
Wei

hehe….why photo of same person holding placard repeated multiple times in the collage of photos?? …that is very crude form of spinning lar….hehe