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.