Who’s angry? I am celebrating!


Last night, I received a couple of text messages informing me of this. The report below says the scrapping of the Penang Outer Ring Road (Porr) and monorail projects is “likely to anger Penang”. But to me, this must be the best news all month. Thank you, Mr PM, thank you!

All those who cherish sustainable and cost-efficient public transport for Penang will be celebrating – even though the federal government may have had other reasons for shelving these mega crony-linked projects. Who cares what their reasons are… The important thing is that these projects have been shelved.


Penang’s Porr and monorail projects shelved

Jun 25, 08 8:36pm

In a stunning move which is likely to anger Penang, the government has put off two major projects in the state – the RM2 billion monorail and RM1.5 billion Penang Outer Ring Road (Porr).

According to evening edition of Chinese dailies, the government has slashed the two mega-projects as part of a major review to the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

However, the government denied that the move was aimed to punish Penangnites who have voted the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition into power in the state.

It stressed that the shelving of the projects was part of the government’s “relocation” of resources to cushion the impact of the unprecedented hike in global oil prices.

What can I say? I am pleased as punch. These two projects would have had severe financial and environmental implications for Penang. And I know the fisherfolk of Tanjong Bunga were worried about the impact of Porr on their fishing. It was only last week that they told me how concerned they were about the land reclamation work for Porr and how they feared that it would jeopardise their livelihoods.

Perhaps now we can take a closer look at… yes, trams!!! And at expanding the ferry service, improving the bus network, opening up cycle lanes and pedestrian malls along shady tree-lined streets – while at all times being highly sensitive to the needs of people with disabilities and senior citizens. Can you imagine a city with far fewer cars and a fantastic public transport system at street level… Penang would be paradise!

Meanwhile, the Penang state government has taken a step in the right direction by looking into the setting up of a state-owned bus corporation. That’s the way to go… It’s time for us to reclaim our public transport.

Let’s show them we can do it our way – a more sustainable, greener way for the benefit of all residents of Penang.

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I am totally with you on this Anil. Trams are way more sustainable than monorails or LRTs and the likes. And It is currently ‘in’ in France, too. See this:


Those auto producing country actually love to use trams is a testimony on how advantageous trams can be…


Hm, 2nd bridge scrapped, PORR scrapped, monorail scrapped… looks like the federal gov just delivered a victory to Penang’s local activists. Less cars and a better public transport is what Penang needs

But lets start with revamping the chaotic bus system first (including introduction of LPG buses), then if needed… introduce electric-powered trolleybuses. Then, if needed… trams (the electrical cabling would be in place at this point). I wonder why the urgency to suddenly jump to trams, Anil? Is Bombardier paying you a commission? Just kidding. >:P

Kenny Gan

Anil, why don’t you build up a case for trams and see Lim Guan Eng about it, face to face? I’m sure he’s accessible unlike the arrogant Umno goons.


Oh my, pedestrian malls? did somebody expect people to walk from Farlim to Weld Quay on foot?

let’s eagerly await sdr lim guan eng to announce the formation of a penang tram development committee and headed by, none other than our ANIL NETTO.

and not forgetting to ask my 65 years old father to ride on bicycle from ayer itam to beach street to attend to his banking chores.

Julie t

Like you, Anil, I am rejoicing. Penang definitely does not need the PORR nor monorail. Lets stick to trams, ferries, bicycle lanes, shady trees and a good bus system. Penang will then be pollution free! and perhaps reclaim its lost title of ‘Pearl of the Orient”.

Son of Malaysia

Though the cancellation of the projects might seem detrimental to Penang but this is a good time for Penang government to show fellow Malaysians that without the help of the federal government Penang’s economy can still progress. Look at Singapore! If Singapore can do I believe we can do it too. Though it might be more difficult for the state government to execute their plans since the Federal government might cause problems. Nevertheless, I believe we can outsmart them.

Keep up the good work! Don’t give up as the rest of Malaysia depends upon Penang’s success.


Would the person using the same posting name as I am please refrain from doing so as I have been using it for a while now, as Anil will attest to. Amongst other things, this will avoid confusing the readers. Thank you.

I am not angry. In fact, I can’t find a reason to be, since the PORR has been laid off and I won’t be paying any tolls. I don’t want this place to be turned into some feudal city like KL where you have to pay the baron to get across his land.

Moaz Yusuf Ahmad

This news is great. Let’s hope that the Penang Government will use the opportunity to create a very effective public transport system for Penang, building it from the ground up. First, get SBPP started. The government can buy the buses and tender the operations contracts to various operators…and even operate the buses themselves. A few of the operators could be from other countries. How about some professional internationally-recognized operators like First PLC or Veolia or ComfortDelGro…. Second, use the “hub and spoke” concept because it works. Just make sure to provide proper bus lanes and proper bus hubs and proper… Read more »

Aaron Leow

i am happy indeed that bad projects conceived by non-penangites for penangites are shelved. cos in the first place they never thought of what WE penangites need. however, i’d still wish the allocation of that money for those two projects still come to penang, so that we can develop other areas of the state. however, i feel it is highly unlikely as i think this step is more of a punishment than a rational step to “cut cost” or take care of the needs of penangites. however, i do pray…and i wish the best will come to penang…and also malaysia…

Kah Seng

Crucial Impact on Developer-Political-Traffic Dynamics —————————————————————————– The “delay” in PORR and monorail will have far reaching developer-political implications, because they affect the Paragon, Time Square, and Penang Turf Club. Is Paragon even feasible without PORR’s reclamation and road that run parallel to Gurney Drive? If handled well, the sustainable development crowd, PR state government, and Penangites will win. If handled poorly, Penangites will lose seriously, not by lack of development funds, but by suffocation from horrendous traffic around Time Square, Paragon, and Greenlane/Jln Masjid/York Road. Time Square was sold on the monorail premise. Without the monorail and a good bus… Read more »


Penag’s gain may be the nation’s loss. Why? Becoz the Fed Govt has $3.5 billion more now to waste on some other wasteful White Elephant to be forced on another unsuspecting State Govt.And if we are not vigilant, they will move quicker than the eye can follow to commit this ‘savings’ to ‘Rakyat-friendly’ projects! Our Fed Govt now follows Keynesianism, with a vengeance, applying it even when the economy is not in depression, as the USA was following the Wall St Crash of 1929. Accordingly, we have a group of GLC’s and Croneys who cannot survive without a Govt Crutch.… Read more »


Anil, What do you propose for people who go to work in the factories everyday? Busses and trams won’t help there. And also people who stay in Farlim, Sungai Ara, Bayan Lepas who need to get to town. The bus service is not reliable and will continue to be unreliable until we can get traffic to reduce, which makes it a catch-22 situation. Bikes are not very practical in Malaysian weather for long distances and are only useful as a feeder transport (and our buses don’t have facilities to store them). All in all, I think a monorail was a… Read more »


Hello all,

Im totally agree with the decision made by the government. But its not unfair to say that the BN’s is “punishing or making vengeance” on Penangites, its his (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi-AAB) place anyway. I think this was his decision to regain back “the trust” of the Penangites to support him for the coming election. However, it was really a good move. They should just make the Trams cause its really going to be a huge benefit and celebrations for the penangites. Keep on making the right decison for us and we’ll support u all the way.


Penangites should not depend on the federal government in whatever way to resolve our traffic problems .. the Penang government should start thinking on how to generate income to improve & make Penang a better place to live


Readers should be able to expect news items to reflect reality. How poorly this reflects on the quality of reporting in Malaysia! The journo makes an (apparently unsubstantiated) assumption about the rakyat’s ‘likely’ response to this ‘development’ cutback and publish it ‘like’ it was indeed public opinion. I dare say most of us have low to zero expectations of the MSM, but Malaysiakini? C’mon, not you as well! Please don’t present the reporter’s own impression (opinion?) and make look like it is representative of Penangites opinion. By all means do it under ‘Opinion and analysis’. March 2008 already showed Malaysians… Read more »


Now, what if the BN government shifts funds to build LRT or other megaprojects in JB or other “BN-friendly“ cities instead so that its cronies can be benefitted? Now wouldn`t that make Penangnites angry? I bet it would.

The Yarning

Finally a voice of reason! Getting angry is a very knee-jerk response, and the “punishing Penangites” argument is as thin as membrane. For all the faults of BN..nobody would deny they’re a POLITICAL party..and does it make sense for them to punish the ppl and further push them away..instead of “plotting” to win them back next time around? dun need to be a master in the Art of War to see that right? For the sake of sustainable development..it is worth feeling the pinch now to eventually get more cars off the road, and if that’s done to save the… Read more »


I too am happy but notjubilating over the news of the shelving of the two projects esp the PORR. But am worried that more buses will be put on the roads by the revival of the state bus company to help ease the utter lack of a relibale public transport sysytem. I feel the trams can only partly solve the problem that too perhaps in the city centre. What about those who live in the outskirts like Farlim, Sunagi Ara, the new Sunway, Relau, etc. These people now rely on kereta sapu and motor cycles and cars causing massive traffic… Read more »

Ah Seng

Yes. Trams for Penang!
A more effective and efficient public transport system is needed in all states. Especially for people in the large cities.
Indirectly, less stress, cleaner enviroment.

SS Quah

Precise my own thoughts! What’s there to be angry about? I will still love to see tramcars on the streets of Penang island.


At least you now know nobody is going to make a buck here.Hope your wish for trams will be happen.

Messy Christian

I was angry at first but now I see your point. I really do hope that Penang state government will introduce bike lanes and pedestrian malls. It is a much cheaper option than those monorails.

And trams? How lovely!

J Choo

Shelved? Anil, you better make sure they are CANCELLED/ABORTED/HABIS, before getting too happy.


Yup. Who’s angry? Well we Penangites never ask for all these. All we need is to have better public transportation. I am all for the trams in Georgetown. What an idea! It would definitely add a different dimension to tourism in not only Penang, but Malaysia. Hope our state government adopts this idea. And finally, get rid of all the stupid smoke choking buses off the road, give our taxi drivers a reasonable rate to operate with meters and lastly but most importantly, our traffic police should do more to keep our roads less congested. (i.e double parking, parking at… Read more »