The Penang government plans to hand over more super-prime sea-front land to corporations as part of a swap deal to finance the controversial proposed RM5-8bn 6.5km tunnel from Gurney Drive to Bagan Ajam.
The state government has to clarify why it is going ahead with the tunnel project when the Penang Transport Masterplan is not yet ready. This is clearly at odds with the global trend towards public transport in the face of limited reserves of fossil fuels worldwide and global warming/climate change.
The Penang government must also clarify whether it will be in compliance with provisions in the National Land Code that state that foreshore land should be on a leasehold basis not exceeding 99 years.
And it must tell us exactly which land it plans to surrender to the tunnel builder, and if it is going to be reclaimed land, where that land will be located. How much land and where in Gurney Drive? And at what valuation – when that valuation could triple in a short space of time, as reported. Is the state/public interest going to end up the loser again by handing over more super-prime land to the big corporations?
It looks as if it is not only BN leaders who have a ‘mega-project’ mentality and who want to leave their legacy (of congestion) for future generations to ‘enjoy’.
The Star report:
KUALA LUMPUR: The Penang government has proposed the construction of a third link – a 6.5km underground tunnel from the mainland to Butterworth.
The tunnel is one of four projects announced by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng here to resolve the island’s severe traffic problems.
“We estimate that the project will cost RM5bil to RM8bil depending on the bids from prospective contractors,” he told a press conference Monday.
Lim said the state government will pay the contractors via a land swap deal. The land is located in the Gurney Drive tourist belt.
“It will be a win-win situation. The government does not have to pay money and the contractor gets prime land that will triple in value,” he said.
The tender process is expected to start on Nov 15.
Lim explained that the project would undergo a lengthy feasibility study and expects construction to commence in 2015.
“We target the completion to be in 2020, although it can be completed earlier,” said the first term Chief Minister.