And so it begins… land acquisition!

The horizontal string on the ground in the upper half of the photo indicates the extent of the land that is slated to be acquired - just nine feet away from the living room!

Some time ago, I wondered aloud in this blog what would happen if we kept on widening our roads to cater for more cars.

What would happen when there was no more room to widen the roads?

The first to go would be the pavements and pedestrian walkways, which would become even narrower or disappear completely.

Then, trees would be chopped down to make way for more road-widening. And this is already happening.

Trees chopped along Jalan Sungai Dua to make way for road-widening

What would happen when there was no more space for road-widening, I wondered.

Now we are finding out what happens next.

They are going to acquire your property or cut into your land. You might find yourself next to a highway just nine feet from your living room! Never mind the requirement for a 20-foot setback from the road.

This is what the Byrne family (parents in their eighties) and their neighbours along Mount Erskine Road (just opposite the crematorium) are finding out the hard way. All because the government wants to build a RM30m underpass to connect Mount Erskine Road with Burmah Road ie cutting beneath the Bagan Jermal Road-Gottlieb Road intersection.

And the family claim they will only get about 10% of the market value in compensation for the acquired land. Not that they want to move out. Why would they? Their home, built 70 years ago by their grandfather, holds so many memories. (Much of the area around it was then a rambutan orchard.)

The highway leading to the underpass will pass just nine feet from their living room (see photo at the top). Think of the disruption, congestion, noise and air pollution during construction.

The family actually got wind of the plans some time ago, but then all went quiet ahead of the 2018 general election.

This is just the beginning. Wait till work on the Pan Island Link and elevated light rail system starts – then you will see a whole string of homes, shops and offices being displaced or acquired.

I still remember the fine words of Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, who denounced the Land Acquisition Act Amendment Bill in 1991, ironically tabled and passed by the then Mahathir administration:

Land Acquisition Amendment Act will deprive Malaysians of their constitutional right to property and be the mother of all corruption, abuses of power, conflicts-of-interest and unethical malpractices.

The Land acquisition Amendment Bill is one of the most unpopular, unacceptable, divisive and iniquitous Bills ever to be presented in this house in the 34-year history of Malaysia.

When it becomes law, it will destroy the constitutional right to property enjoyed by Malaysians for 34 years since Merdeka, and become the mother of all corruption, abuses of power, conflicts-of-interest and unethical malpractices in Malaysia under the National Development Policy and the Second Outline Perspective Plan 1991-2000.

It is for these two reasons that the DAP has taken a clear and unambiguous stand to oppose the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill. I want to declare at the outset – before irresponsible politicians including Barisan National Minister and MPs distort the DAP stand – that we are not defending the interest of the rich landowners against the poor, or speaking on behalf of any communal group against another communal group.

DAP has taken a clear and strong stand to oppose the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill because we are speaking for all Malaysians and all races who would be adversely affected by the Land Acquisition Amendment Act.

This is because all Malaysians who own land, whether those with large landholdings or the ordinary Malaysian, whether a kampong Malay, a Chinese new villager or an Indian wage-earner, could be deprived of their constitutional right to property under the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill.

DAP does not speak for the large landowners but the ordinary Malaysians, whether Malay, Chinese or Indian, who would be made landless by this Bill

In fact, the large landowners are more than capable of looking after themselves and their own interest through their political and monetary influence with the power-that-be and they don’t need the DAP to speak for them.

The DAP is speaking up for the ordinary Malaysians, whether Malay, Chinese or Indian, who own a plot of land whether as tanah pusaka or had acquired it as the fruit of their life-long toil of tears, sweat and Land Acquisition Bill, who could be made landless by this Bill for they would be completely helpless when the Barisan Nasional government moves in to acquire and dispossess them of their only land to profit favoured groups or companies owned or controlled by ruling parties or their political leaders in the name of ‘development’.

Make sure you read the full statement. The opposition parties went to town with this issue back then. A huge uproar erupted – and rightly so.

You could understand the need for land acquisition if private property has to be acquired for an essential public purpose that would benefit the community. But to carry out road-widening and build underpasses at a time when we are saturated with private motor vehicles? I don’t think so.

The thing is, all this is so unnecessary. Why do we want to pander to more cars when there are so many cars on the road in Penang already?

The RM30m cost of the underpass could be used to buy say, 50 more Rapid Penang buses. That would be a 20% increase to Rapid Penang’s existing fleet of about 285-400 buses for the whole state.

Just think: less than 5% of Penangites use public transport. If we could increase this to just 10-20%, we wouldn’t need to widen roads. To its credit, yesterday the Pakatan Harapan government launched the Pas Mutiara RM50 30-day travel card that allows Malaysians to use the buses and ferries. (But why discriminate against foreigners, who should also be allowed to use these cards if the goal is to increase the use of public transport. No logic-lah.) These buses and ferries have so much potential, as the Halcrow transport consultants recognised.

But then this same PH government wants to build more underpasses, overpasses, highways and roads on an already congested island. It just doesn’t make sense.

The state government wants to emulate Singapore in a lot of areas – but not its extensive use of public transport: 67% of Singaporeans use public transport. Now the island republic – which is almost as large as Penang state – wants to increase it to 75%.

Long before it introduced its mass rapid transit subway system, Singapore worked on improving its buses and getting the system right first, including last-mile connectivity and shaded pedestrian walkways – which Penang lacks.

Now Singapore (population 5.6 million) has three times the number of residents as Penang state (1.8 million). But Singapore has about 5,800 buses whereas Penang has only 400.

What this means is:

  • Singapore has 15 times more buses than Penang although its population is only three times larger and it also has an underground train network
  • Singapore has one bus for every 1,000 residents – Penang has one bus for every 4,500 residents
  • Going by the Singapore coverage, Penang should have almost 2,000 buses on the road – and not a miserable 300-400. We need five times more buses on the road!

Do you know that the efficient buses in Singapore carry more passengers than its MRT trains. That’s how good they are. A relative of mine even takes his toddler son for fun bus-rides during weekends.

So why are we pandering to cars by building more roads, underpasses, highways and tunnels especially in this era of climate change?

The only people who will profit from this are the contractors and ….?

How short-sighted and lacking in vision can the state government get? How can it talk of a Cleaner, Greener, Healthier and Safer Penang and a Penang Green Agenda with a straight face?

Meanwhile, keep an eye out on whose property or land will be acquired next to make way for more cars. What is happening to the Byrne family and their neighbours is just the beginning. Who knows who could be next!

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Lim Goh Poh

CM Chow do curb the number of private cars on the road as your PTMP unlikely to be implemented without msny hiccups on the way.
Komtar bus terminal is awful with renovation takes such long time. Its thr reflection of your public transport amenities. Dont just count on sluggish RapidPenang, do hands on approach eg calling your cat counterpart YB Anthony Loke now in federal government to help speed up the improvement.
Some say cats are toothless so you can prove cynics wrong otherwise be prepared ti be one term CM.


To say curb cars is easy? How? Jack up parking fees and reduce number of parking bays. Can it force the public to take public transport or people still resort to private cars. By putting more buses it still means putting more vehicles on the road. No one will take bus because it is not punctual. The only way is to have a dedicated bus lane or a lane exclusively for buses and taxi from 7am to 9.30am and from 4pm to 7.30pm. Again this means our public roads which were built for bullock cart has to be widen. The… Read more »

Lim Goh Poh

YB Anthony Loke if got authority can approve 2nd bus network (revive Hin or Yellow bus 2.0 run by their descendants? not interferered by NEP to operate with punctuality and friendly competition with RapidPenang) then can change mindsets and shift paradigm of egoistic top gearing Penangites.


You think running public is like operate kopi tiam or teh susu shop? If buses are bone shaker who will take the bus? Only seniors and lowly paid worker and foreign workers. Pengland kia and NGO have style. If they take bus, wife and girlfriend will quarrel separate and even divorcé. Go and disproof me.

Lim Goh Poh

Take bus wife girlfriend quarel?
Need to change mentality lah.
In Japan and Spore the advance countries people in office suits use public transport.
Penangites with binchui buy condo, buy cars, tuition education on credit terms no wander live in stress and despair and go bankcrupt when times are bad.


Those who shriek in buses (Rapid?) think like that.
When one cannot afford to maintain even a small car (Rm value so low, spare parts so expensive), or grab a Grab (soooo expensive ride), to take a bus (Rapid?) is a no brainer! Even if one habitually shrieks in a bus everyday!


You orso gibberish. Catch no basketball and can only understand your kbkb. As you said, I shriek as I have been taking rapid buses. But you kbkb as you drive.


Singland is different. How many live in pegeon holes? How can afford cars and pay parking fees? So singland gonen have to spend more $£¢€¥ ob that. Soon they have to live and work underground. They have $£¢€¥. Penang have only chip chip siap looking for cheapest one ton mee.

Lim Goh Poh

NGO have styles?
We hope the famous Forum Trinity Mr Anil, Mr Lim Mah Hui and Mdm Salma Khoo can post pictures of them taking RapidPenang.
If this can hapoen, we shall nimunaye Anil to run foe Bayan Baru MP vs Sim in GE15, Mah Hui for Komtar MP and Salma for Pulau Tikus.
What say you alll? Shriek out your hidden voices !


Orso tu lang. Shrieking and kbkb all the time. Always want the chippest and both of the world. If he has taken the bus regularly he will ve shrieking his encounter of the third king.


Who understand your gibberish? That’s the problem with your shrieking!
At least we know what is a Pontianak shrieking for!


You respond which goes all the way you understand what I said. This break your solemn promise that you will keep silent. But alas, your heart is sooooo willing.


Gasoline and diesel fueled cars and motorcycles will be banned from Amsterdam from 2030 in an effort to clean up the city’s air, the Dutch capital’s council said.

DAPCat has such political courage to ban motor vehicles from at least Penang heritage zone?


RapidPenang should use the 8m long bas mini

Mini Bus can manoeuvre easily on old narrow roads.

Nowadays road widening is also meant for additional lane for car parking. Motorists will never kpkb, only the affected homes will suffer the traffic noise and pollution.

Lim Goh Poh

RapidKL Hino Poncho mini buses from Japan should be deployed in Penang; especially for those free routes for the community.


Good for feeder routes. I rather have two of these to increase the frequency than one big bus that comes every half an hour.


Those free routes are oredi for those do not have cars. Those have cars continue to use cars. Ask tu lang. He is quiet on this as he has a car although he can use buses.
By using mini buses, just increase number of vehicles on the road. Sydney found trolley buses take up more road space. See hong Kong, singland and uk uses double decker buses to reduce number of vehicle spaces on road. Sydney uses double decker buses on some routes.


I use car & I use Rapid when I need to.
What’s the problem shrieking here???
Go to your favourite HK & shriek at the riot police or Raptors!


You orso use the highways and lowways when ever you want. Yet you shriek at gomen building them. So double headed and stepping on 2 worlds. Want all the best and yet shriek whether is true. What a T Rex?


I seldom use highways to avoid the traffic jams. Just use shortcuts in small old lanes in George Town to avoid shrieking drivers & he-he insane jay walkers! And I have absolute no use of more insane 6-lanes highways.
There are more Penangites like me driving smart, keep cool, save time!


Tu lang, shrieking and spinning. When did George Town has highway? Only low ways. Penang has highways. Becareful driving in Belakang mati further the speed limit is only 50 kph and could workers, school children. Therefore how can it be faster?


Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu Highway is not a highway ah?
Now, I know all the while you are not a Penangite but a shrieking smart alec chai from kampung pisang banana trees!


Call yourself Penang kia. Shame and lower the honour and dignity of Penang land. Dr LCE highway is a highway. But it is a coastal road and you are terminated some good distance from the Jetty. The jetty is orso some distance away from mppp.
I know better than you.


Taiwanese family enjoys Penang White Curry Mee


My favourite curry mee in Penang. Comfortable, clean ambience where you can customize your own ingredients as illustrated in the menu. The cold 白斩鸡 white cut chicken is also also a must try! Try to go during non-peak hours as parking is still a major headache for that part.


Keep posting videos of Penang food.
Add your comments too.
A good reference for visitors.
Prefer those non-halal chinese food.


Today, more people die of eating too much. Diabetes from too much carbs and sugar, heart diseases from processed food and cancer such as bowel and blood.

Charlie Boom

Mamak food high in cholesterol.
Teh Tarik too sweet cause diabetes!
This is the health problem for Malaysians.

David Chew

Just ban public cars to send kids to school and the traffic jam will be gone, do we have traffic jam when it is a school holidays?


Gomen is demanding to register every person trnasporting others’ children to school, maybe on the grounds of safety but probably to extract tax. This will mean a reluctance to provide such lifts and and more traffic jams. We are also primitive in having 2 sessions a day of school a day — a major cause of jams — but the Minister is too busy with other priorities.


When you buy a car, you are contributing to such problem.

Use mini buses, lessen the need to widen roads.

Lim Goh Poh

Anil still prefers trams over simple mini bus system on island.
Penang Forumers should take RapidPenang and then with the experience then can propose to improve existing bus system no need big investment.

Lim Goh Poh

Christchurch tram runs on downtown grid layout mainly for tourists. Forum Tram can run at heritage zone only when privste cars are prohibited. But then the business communities will kbkb as they cannot unload stuffs to their shops.


In the 1980s, Klang Valley was full of mini-buses. Due to lack of regulation, they went wild. Then came the big crack-down, killing of private transport businesses including large buses at great loss, consolidation, cronyism, and decline. It was no loss for the oligarchy. They came up with LRT and MRT.


GEORGE TOWN, Sept 5 ― The Penang branch of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) today urged Putrajaya to introduce computer classes into the syllabus of primary schools without delay, in view of the government’s move towards Industry 4.0.


What is penang forum being doing? What is tulang orso been doing? Should tell gomen to introduce computer to young students. They are the future of Penang and malaysia


Computer class at primary school more relevant than Jawi class. Right?

Need to learn computing like coding to equip for future.
Good for lower income family kids who cannot attend expensive private computer lessons.


‘Land acquisition’ by the sea!
Jakarta is sinking! – Equator from the Air – BBC

No wonder President of Indonesia wants to move its capital to Kalimantan.
Hold your heart beat at 3:10 of the above video.


Holland once rule over Indonesia. Why not ask their former master to teach then some trick instead of spending billions. The billions are better if spend on the poor. Sinkapore is learning like Holland. Difficult to get sand.

Phua Kai Lit

Welcome to the Malaysian state of Bukit Bendera and the SEAsian Republic of Bukit Timah ?

kah seng

Isn’t this Land Acquisition act also the one carelessly brandished … when the 2 convents and Phykett school were said to be closing? We later found out they were to be turned into new types of schools. But the ease and recklessness with which the Land Acquisition Act was brandished around … is worrying and infuriating. He did this without considering the root problem that is the failure of government curriculum, how to solve that problem, and how without solution the schools would surely fail again, which would mean the land – if acquired by the state – would inevitably… Read more »


GEORGE TOWN (Bernama): The Penang government has drawn up 16 strategic initiatives to attract investors and stakeholders to invest in the state in line with the Penang 2030 vision.

According to Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, the strategic initiatives would drive the state’s economic growth in a positive direction, apart from enhancing competitiveness and the people’s quality of life.

Any strategic drive to promote public transportation?

Charlie Boom

Need strategic plan to curb car population on Penang island.

Too many cars, congestion even illegal parking on roadsides!


Just Anthony Loke performing his ministerial duties.
Anil have you got your Pas Mutiara already?


How long foreigners stay in Penang? Public transport in Malaysia is hardly profitable. In fact gomen has to subsidise. From 10am to 4.30pm and from 7.30 pm to midnight, it is like ghost train not many passengers. Penang lang willing to pay extra fares?


Rapid Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur and Penang should introduce discounts during off peak and weekends. Weekends all in the family can jalan2 and makan2. Business and economy will be better. Kids are happier.


Tun M: “If we are to set the retirement age at 65, the deadwood will be sitting on their chairs and others will not be able to sit there (via promotion)”.

A slap to MTUC who does not understand productivity and protect deadwoods?


Why be employed? Join politics and get elected as politician or become aide or assistant to the politician


The fact is not everyone between 60 to 65 of age work with high salaries or high posts. Easy to dismiss MTUC’s proposal to say he was asked to come back at 93 & also he already has a nice retirement nest egg to fall back on.
Is this a Harapan for seniors???


Yes for seniors or senior seniors. The older the merrier. Good for apek tulang. Apek can join bersatu or ketua.


Be like Jack Ma, retire at age 55:

He only need to work hard and smart for 25 years. Di notneed be a slave to your company.

Thomas Toh

Socialist people want everybody to be paid the same regardless of skills or performance.

Many deadwood in an organization should be purged and not kept as treasure to add burden.


Deadwood can work as human effigy at Museum Negara. Fully dressed up, do nothing but pose as Hang Tuah, Tun Perak, Tok Janggut etc for tourists.


Must plan to retire by 55 to enjoy later life and not work til death.

Financial planning is thus important.

Do not waste money on stuff like smoking, milk tea, starbucks coffee when you are young. Instead save the money and invest for the future to ensure comfortable retirement.


Sad to see today people in Malaysia need to work until they literally die.

Problem is Ringgit is Low.

Ringgit is Low because of poor governance.

People today consume a lot, can sit at home snd buy stuffs with mobile phones. Even get food delivered to home by the PandaBoys! No discipline to save for old age, so have to work beyond the ideal retirement age of 55.

Lazlo Low

Good article by Mahathir in his latest blog:

Another extension of today’s Malay Dilemma, well explained!

Rui Fern

Another TETW (talk east talk west) by Tun M.

[Some of] The Malays would not bothered since they still like handouts and miss Bossku the crook.


Similar problem down here:-

Wrecking ball swinging closer to homes as authorities scorn families’ pleas

We voted them into power so that their kakis can get a slice of the pie.


This is what happen to dummo. You hear stories how mp will give tens to hundreds to those in his constituency. To support the $£¢€¥ flow, add surcharge on the projects. Indirectly, the extra $£¢€¥¥ comes from the people.
Better if you start a party and practises no cronies.


A business opportunity for Malaysia to, produce shariah-compliant sports attire for Muslim world? A blue ocean strategy is needed.


Special Logo (on top of Halal logo) for Muslim Bumi Products?

“Cadangan pengenalan logo ini bukan bertujuan menggantikan logo halal JAKIM, tetapi ia sebagai nilai tambah kepada persijilan sedia ada. Sesuatu produk yang mendapat logo muslim melambangkan halal bersih, manakala logo Halal JAKIM pula akan menentukan sesuatu produk itu ‘Halalan Toyyiban’ iaitu bersih dan suci,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan, hari ini.


In other words, you need to be a Muslim to produce halal products?

‘Halalan Toyyiban’ iaitu bersih dan suci” – go check the hygiene of some halal-certified restaurants.


To be fair we must ask Finance Ministry to segregate taxes collected from sin tax (Magnum, Toto, beer, hard liquor) and not to channel such haram money to aid the Muslim.


Exactly! Also, money transacted for such ‘sins’ of man cannot be used anymore as medium of exchange by religious bigots as God (who is omnipresent ie everywhere) can see from above. Wrong?

Another matter: Instructions were given out to shoot wild pigs swimming from Sumatra to Pulau Besar. Are we going to interfere nature’s course in the name of halal for an island? GOSH!


Actually most malays will frequent non-muslim food stalls so long as it has “No Pork No Lard” signage. The key things is the food must be good and affordable.

Do not use “Pork Free” signage. Due to poor English command in Bolehland, It is being misintepreted as giving you pork free of charge. Take note.


A few nights ago, I saw a group of Traffic Polis personnels makan-makan @ Paya Terubong famed Ah Chui Seafood which is a non-halal restaurant. So good the seafood, they didn’t mind in the spirit of Merdeka!


Spinning again. Merdeka is independence. Eating in non halal is independence? Chinese going to Indian or Malay shops for food orso merdeka?

Lim Goh Poh

Babi Guling popular in Bali, can become truly Asia delicacies to lure China tourists.

Sumatra species likely become roasted ones for 7th mont deities.


No brainer. Why go and shoot when one can orso fish wild boar when they are swimming as you said. Wild boars can sell to China and profit us very good as China is having African swine fever.


See if they wanted to open lucky strike so that they can try their luck. Similarly computers build by them and for them.

Charlie Boom

PAS folks can get excited over female sports attire.

This is happening because of lustful thoughts.


What is the point of sembahyang when the mind is obsessed with sexual images?

Time for them to reflect hard. Interfaith dialogue will help them if they could participate.


Men are created wholesome (no missing parts) to get excited or aroused with many things like Ola Bola. If some men cannot control himself mentally & or physically, best for them to get acupuncture to numb the parts + nerves & that (may permanently) solve the excitement / arousal problem in themselves caused by exciting / arousing visuals which to some is ‘sin’ of the mind. Then don’t regret for handicapping yourself! We as humans have complete physical + genetic endowment & sensual feelings to enjoy as we like but the disembodied (spirits, demons, jins, angels, shadow entities) don’t have… Read more »


The capitalist project of global conquest and subjugation to usury entails these: – Imposing a hedonistic, insecure, wasteful and destructive culture, partly by undermining history, skills, values, artefacts, etc. – Corrupting and controlling those in authority; e.g., see the current Epstein case. – Trying economic imperialism, or subverting the country through extremism; most of the “revolutioaries” are on the payroll, whether in Syria, Myanmar, HK, etc. As a last resort, bomb the country “back to the stone age”. Every city, town and village must look the same, have the same facilities, practice the same values, and cater to/worship visiting foreign… Read more »

Thomas Toh

Your writings are very complicated and I cannot understand even after reading 3 times. Keep it simple. We Malaysians need simple and direct English to get by.