BCF transport framework made public; SRS’ RM40bn proposal still under wraps


While Penang Forum’s Better, Cheaper, Faster transport framework is now available for public scrutiny on the bettercheaperfaster.my website, the proposal put forward by SRS Consortium is still under wraps.

The SRS proposal, which is in 20 volumes, is only accessible by Penang Transport Council members at a small room in Komtar. As a council member, I have to make an appointment before going to Komtar and make sure someone is around to unlock the room.

I have to sign in and leave my phone on a desk outside the room. No photographs are allowed. I can only scribble down notes as quickly as possible. It is not easy to wade through 20 volumes in such a confined space with limited time.

After a long delay, the executive summary of the SRS proposal was finally made available to transport council members at our last meeting.

Much to my concern, the words “STRICTLY for Penang Transport Council only” was stamped in large letters on EVERY page of the executive summary. This is ridiculous.

Why the big secret under an administration that touts Competence, Accountability and Transparency? What happened to the promise to make the SRS proposal public?

What is the point of making it public just before or worse, after the project delivery partner agreement has been signed – when it cannot be revoked without predictable laments about having to pay massive compensation?

When is the SRS proposal going to be put online for public scrutiny?

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People must have proper mindset. Moving cars and moving people concept must start from young. Too dependent on cars even very short distance cannot walk n move own bodies.

A clear example you can notice many folks part their cars very near entrance some illegally at shopping mall so as not to walk too much! Ornamented live food but little exercise no wonder obesity and non communicable diseases on the rise.


Malaysians will get into car buying frenzy again when Perodua launched Bezza tomorrow? Beginning of the end of the saga of Proton?

A Step back for public transportation?

Would Penang impose high parking charges in George Town, like in KL to deter driving into city centre? I am all for it. What say you readers?


Penang Forum should provide basic funding to anilnetto.com for his excellent coverage of Penang Transport alternatives. Otherwise, Penang Forum will be perceived to be hijacking Anil’s platform and to deprive other readers of other interesting news like local food as too much coverage on transport lately.
Just to share views from fellow readers.


Yes, sokong wholeheartedly !!!

ah pek


Anil would not have missed mentioning Penang being bestowed #1 food destination of the world if only he is not overoccupied with penang forum agenda.

Lucky we have readers who share share goodie info….but then where thst ori food maestro-lang not alerting us as usual?


Many now don’t read The Biased Star and count on Anilnetto.com for justified news fyi.

David Loman

Incidentally Anil has stopped discussing local street food ever since he went upmarket with ‘fine dining’ – remember the picture of the cup of specialty coffee he posted?

On the subject of national transportation, Najib and Hsien Loong will sign the MOU for the Singapore-KL high speed rail project tomorrow. Wonder if there is any watchdog like Penang Forum to monitor the cost and benefits of such project, said to be about RM60 billion?


I have decided to stop reading this blog because it is all about arguments on transportation. It used to be interesting with diverse topics. But it has been hijacked by Penang Forum to push personal agenda. Sorry and Bye Bye!

james k

Anything of concern in the SRS report that you seen? Did you find out why they are so secretive about it? One suggestion Anil: Submit the BCF plan & petition not just to Penang state gov, but to SPAD & transport ministry as well, since: 1. The federal gov makes the ultimate decision. 2. SRS proposal is still under their consideration, no approval given yet. 3. They may be more open to BCF since it is a plan by the people, and not the Pakatan state gov. ( 4. They can gain political mileage. Think about it- if they approve… Read more »


what so good about halcrow’s plan? just a dressing. if there is ramp and elevated structure why not put buses instead of trams? turn it into brt! but people love to see trams and gullible. brt is cheaper and flexible than trams.


why need trams for higher densities? buses are stil workable. increase the frequency. parr time drivers in the morning or evenings for 1 to 2 hours. add double decker buses which can carry up to 130 cattle heads. from 9.30 to 4.30 and 7.30 to mid night what high density. cowboy town.


confused. halcrow has brt for mainland due to lower density. now you say more people in mainland. there mainland should have tram. but why tram in penang in ramp and elevated structure? why not bus on ramp and elevated structure? cheaper. do what is so good about halcrow’s report? just because they use tram?


How does Penang Forum arrive at the cost for the alternative plan?
Are there contractors ready to undertake the alternative plan at the cost defined by Penang Forum?


Just how realistic is this Halcrow master plan?
So do not assume it is perfect.


Anyone can come up with a plan.
But can they keep within the originally defined cost?
In Malaysia, very often projects have cost overrun.
Just look at how BN has continuously blown its annual budget with supplementary budgets.
So cheap may not mean it is feasible.


Do not misunderstand my message.
I did not say I support SRS.
Just saying anything is possible on paper.
In Malaysia, implementation usually results in additional cost far more than budgeted.


how to compare langsat and durian. lrt is a drone like uncle sam driving the vehicle in pentagon over afghan. but bus has a driver on site. our kl putra is a drone on a fixed track but bus can be like mat rempit up to the mood of the driver. since one has a ramp, why put trams and not buses? but lrt line , one can only put one lane bus as it is LIGHT rail not singland, hongland or japland style

gk ong

Good point raised by Alain.
Honestly since when we enjoy cheap and good things in Malaysia?
AG Reports have shown us government has the habit of spending big with no apparent benefits to rakyat. Najib has also blown his national budget with excessive spending.


Dallas is one of the most car-crazy cities. As CAP reported recently, the mayor “admitted” that expanding a major highway to 37 lanes had not improved traffic. Do you think he did not expect this? We can learn from the “mistakes” of others or allow our masters to repeat them using public wealth.


Same in singland and Hongland. Singland built mtr but did not stop building highways. same as Hongland. Mtr expands with new lines but Gomen orso built new highways. Wan chai bypass construction work has been going on more then5 years


Penang Forum should organise a public video session with Q&A so that the ordinary folks with no internet access can gain valuable insights about best transport options available.
Of course, get a sponsor to provide free snacks and kopi o sure attract a lot of people.


I think trams are not so viable in Penang as there are just too many traffic lights and narrow old roads. Maybe it could be fully implemented in Batu Bawan since everything there is (totally) new ? But first make sure there will be no floods in the planning !!


melb trams were running at a huge loss and jeff gomen has to break up into regions and privatise the trsms. victoria gomen cut other services to maintain the service. same pg and selangor pay for free shuttle service. result no local council libraries, swimming pools etc.

David Loman

A woman went 80 days without a car in Los Angeles to demonstrate that it can be done in the city that loves automobiles:


Imagine penang island only for bicycle riding and buses. And selected number if registered taxis to ferry disabled or seniors during emergencies. Those who use cars to pay tax to subsidise more efficient and effective bus system.
Taxpayer money saved from spending on Trams or Highways.

YK Leong

When a report is so secretive and confined to only a small number of people, there must be something that the proponents want to keep public scrutiny. It may be revealing to do a cost – benefit analysis. Who benefits, who pays? A social cost benefit analysis as to which social groups benefit and who will bear the blunt of the environmental and social cost. As the technical reports are 20 volumes thick, it is unlikely that the public and civil society will have the time and expertise to evaluate the options thoroughly. This can be send for a peer… Read more »


read the excutive summary and cherry pick others


Your estimates seem low. The fees for con-sultants and studies is higher, as announced recently in Penang. It is far higher in the case of “defence” contracts.


No Consultant is cheap.
Even A hair consultant can be paid $10k per month!


Anil. To be fair to all, is the SRS proposal to PTC members the final copy? If it is not, then members of the public should only be told, at this stage, about the key elements and not all the nitty gritty details. As a council member, you should push for a reasonable window for public scrutiny and feedback of the final proposal before any signing is to take place. Thank you.

Johan Khun Pana

No wish to join-in this public transport fiasco.
This BBC link below might be an interesting read.