Penang CM writes to PM calling for improved public transport


The Penang Chief Minister has written to the Prime Minister urging the federal government to support or implement public transport initiatives in view of the growing congestion in the state.

In the meantime, the Penang government must quickly come up with the long overdue Penang Island Local Plan to control the densities of development projects unlike at present when developers tend to build to the maximum permissible densities often irrespective of location and traffic considerations.

Traffic Impact Assessments for certain key projects appear flawed, and the independence of the consultants working on them is questionable.

If we are worried about congestion, why are we even considering a road-based tunnel instead of a cross-channel rail link and more ferries? (We have only half the number of ferries operating now comapred to the 1970s.)

Putrajaya must not hold back support for public transport intitiaves in Penang. Public transport is a vital social need and if anything should be subsidised to encourage people to ditch their cars.

That said, any federal support given must not be conditional to mega contracts being awarded to crony companies. The support (and the mode of public transport selected) should serve the needs of the people, not Big Business! Value (to the most number of ordinary people) for money should be a key criteria. Small initiatives, if properly coordinated and integrated, can sometimes be beautiful.

The Penang Chief Minister’s letter to Prime Minister:


28 Mei, 2014

YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak
Perdana Menteri Malaysia
Pejabat Perdana Menteri
Blok Utama, Bangunan Perdana Putra
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan

Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Sri,


Dengan hormatnya saya ingin menarik perhatian YAB Dato’ Sri berhubung perkara tersebut di atas.

2. Sebagaimana yang dimaklumkan sebelum ini, Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang menagih janji mantan Perdana Menteri dan juga YAB Dato’ Sri sendiri untuk membina dan membiayai sistem perkhidmatan LRT atau MRT sebagai salah satu pengangkutan awam alternatif bagi mengurangkan kesesakan lalulintas di negeri ini yang dianggarkan memakan kos perbelanjaan sebanyak RM2.3 bilion. Walaupun, Kerajaan Negeri lebih cenderung kepada sistem ‘tram’, namun Kerajaan Negeri sedia menerima sistem pengangkutan awam yang dipilih dan dibiayai oleh Kerajaan Persekutuan.

3. Sekiranya Kerajaan Persekutuan belum bersedia untuk menjalankan projek LRT atau MRT sepertimana yang dijanjikan, Kerajaan Negeri bersedia untuk mengambilalihnya. Ini adalah kerana dengan keadaan kesesakan trafik yang kian meruncing ekoran pertambahan penduduk, kemasukan pekerja baru untuk mengisi peluang pekerjaan yang kian bertambah serta pertumbuhan bilangan para pelancong yang pesat, maka Kerajaan Negeri tidak dapat menunggu lagi. Walaupun menghadapi kekangan kewangan, Kerajaan Negeri bersedia membina sistem pengangkutan awam dengan perbelanjaan dibiayai oleh Kerajaan Negeri sendiri. Oleh itu adalah perlu lesen pengangkutan awam ‘tram’ boleh diluluskan oleh pihak Kementerian Pengangkutan kepada Kerajaan Negeri agar kami dapat mencari seorang pengusaha sistem ‘tram’ untuk memulakannya dengan segara.

3. Kerajaan Negeri sedia bekerjasama dan berbincang dengan pihak Kerajaan Persekutuan di bawah Kementerian Pengangkutan bagi merealisasikan pewujudan pengangkutan awam alternatif di Pulau Pinang dengan tujuan mengurangkan masalah kesesakan lalulintas yang dihadapi kini. Kerajaan Persekutuan diminta sebagai alternatifnya, memberikan kuasa penuh kepada Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang untuk mengendalikan dan mengawalselia perjalanan sistem pengangkutan awam ‘tram’ yang dipilih sebagai paling sesuai oleh Kerajaan Negeri.

4. Pihak saya bersedia untuk berjumpa dengan

YAB Dato’ Sri dan YB Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Pemangku Menteri Pengangkutan bagi memperoleh lesen pengangkutan awam. Segala perhatian YB Dato’ Sri amatlah dihargai.

ekian, terima kasih.

Yang ikhlas,

Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang

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Sunny Ooi

Kerajaan Negeri bersedia membina sistem pengangkutan awam dengan perbelanjaan dibiayai oleh Kerajaan Negeri sendiri. Oleh itu adalah perlu lesen pengangkutan awam ‘tram’ boleh diluluskan oleh pihak Kementerian Pengangkutan kepada Kerajaan Negeri

Macai memang Macai.

Ong Eu Soon

The tunnel project is dying due to cash flow problem. On Feb 21, 2014, in a letter to Malaysiakini, Zenith Bucg unveiled the timelines for the feasibility study and preliminary detailed design of the major road projects and the third link in Penang as follows. Phase 1A is the three major roads: · Sub-package 1: Cadangan jalan berkembar Jalan Tanjung Bungah-Teluk Bahang · Sub-package 2: Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu-Bandar Baru Air ltam bypass · Sub-package 3: Gurney Drive-Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu bypass Phase 1B is the undersea tunnel: · Sub-package 4: Penang-Butterworth tunnel The FSDD work… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

Penangites face a daunting challenge to fight the dubious privatizations of the state transportation infrastructures. We should be wary of the road building solution that lead to more land reclamation. On June 13, 2014, the state government announced that it will call for tenders for its RM27 billion Public Transport Master Plan, scheduled to start in stages from next year until be completed in 2030. The state government’s transportation policies are characterized by misallocation to low-value activities with misguided policy directions that stifle innovation and boost transportation costs. One damaging policy direction involves efforts to finance the state transportation infrastructures… Read more »

Xing Liang

The Star (Thursday) mentioned Penang FDI in 2013 has dropped significantly. If so, where to get the own fund to build the Tram System ?

Or could the Tram System to be partially financed by the inputs from Spore Temasek Holdings; which The Star also mentioned to be a major investor with big plans to be announced soon ?


It tooks 6+ long years to finally write to PM for helping solve Penang’s traffic gridlock problems when all the while we Penangites get frustrated with the increasing traffic jams & unsavoury Rapid Bus services (i.e. the haphazard schedules). The outcome will be predictable: peanut cap kucing + sup misai kucing for asking after the fact of blaming, blaming, blaming at every given opportunity of showmanship. Until the day the CAT can stroll along Putrajaya slippery corridors with Eveready CAT Power, nothing will solve the traffic woes in Penang. Given the Cosmopolitan Frenzies going on unimpeded – make hi-end homes… Read more »


The irony is much of this mess (jams and increase traffic flow) is directly due to the policies of our Dear Leader. And I can bet that this only gonna get worse in the next few years. CAT is no longer Competency, Accountability and Transparency it is Condos Apartments & Townhouses.


Let us hope that our new Transport Minister Liow can help to address such issue, without being burdened by the MH370 search.


Liow TL could possibly ‘revive’ the requirement of black box for express bus, but this time may appoint new suppliers…?


This is the height of stupidity and irresponsibility. What a load of nonsense the Dear Leader is talking about here by writing to the PM ? First of all, the state spent millions to do a traffic study that took forever. Then the state govt in their infinite wisdom chose to cherry pick the recommendations and decided to spend billions and go for highways and tunnels to solve traffic problems rather than spend nothing peanuts to focus on a proper public transport system. Now when the situation is getting worse, they now write to the Fed and demanding them to… Read more »


/the letter by LGE to PM is a masterstroke. The ball is now on Najib’s court to explain to Penangites what he has in place for Penang public transportation, and not to hold on to it as a ‘I help you, you help me’ ransom closer to GE14. If BN sincerely wants to wrestle back Penang, then this is a good opportunity to show it. If BN has nothing to offer, be it a concrete plan or financial support, then they should not criticise what Pakatan is going to implement.


That’s what LGE in his small mind, along with his fan boys & gals, think. It is the responsibility of the CM to resolve local issues instead of expecting the Fed govt to step in and do it for him. If the Fed govt can do it, then we can save millions by NOT having a CM. This way we can cut down CM’s perks such as his inflated salaries, overseas trips and not to mention the gleaming S-Class Merc limo. It is laughable that Penang govt can spend billions on highways and tunnels despite vocifious public opposition yet play… Read more »


hahaha my foot a master stroke. It show the incompetency of the CAT and how useless is DAP LGE in managing Penang


Why is it the Penang State Government assumes it does not have authority to approve, run and license its own public transport system? As far as I can remember, transport matters are in the joint list in the federal constitution. Have they been adequately advised by legal experts or are they just assuming? Does the tram going up Penang Hill require federal govt approval? If so, how did they obtain it so easily? If not, I will have to assume that trams do not need approval from the federal govt and as such can be implemented in George Town without… Read more »


Without the blessing from the federal government, you will not get federal funding. So do not rush into doing it. Also it is good for Penangites to see how the Federal BN government reject the proposal.

Najib is likely to use his ‘I help you, you help me’ card to lure votes.
Just wait for BN’s proposal on Penang public transportation that is in fact another blackmailing exercise. Some Penangites would fall for the trap, just like those Teluk Intan folks who desperately wanted a university (only to get a branch of teacher’s college dressed up as a university campus).


Teluk Intan was Pakatan’s own doing. They lost not because BN was better or because BN cheated but because PR was dishonest and incompetent. When the ppl gave PR a big majority in Selangor (where many young folks from Teluk Intan live and work), they refuse to perform. They openly lie to the electorate. PR told the rakyat they were against highway tolls but they intend on pushing a highway through the homes of thousands in Sgor. They said they would be a people-centric govt but now they do not wish to listen to the grouses of the ppl. They… Read more »


Kidex is gerakan bn federal government project funded by their machai. They are trying to fool pr selangor government with the traffic study. How good is skm Aust study? There are many wrong projections encountered like Sydney cross city, lane cove tunnel, brisbsne river cross and to airport. The toll operators are making a loss at the toll collection. Lucky, pr found the mistakes and found gerakan bn federal givernment is playing devil advocate. Who is lying that gerakan mah will be a minister? Rakyat in TI are cheated …


Kelvin, just look around, express buses, taxis, mtrs, who give licences? As for penang hill train, even upgrading, the penang hill train, the money is given by umno federal govetnment. What tax fo you pay to penang state govetnment? Your quit rent and you see the services rendered. Now, bn federal government has the spad or land transport department.


1. My question is why does the state govt have to obtain license or approval from the federal govt (or any of its agencies)? So what if they don’t have federal approval and continue with the project? What is going to happen?

2. Money is not an issue because the state has the funds. It has said that it can implement public transportation on its own without federal funding. It only wants federal approval and license.


Kelvin, it shows you are just living in Malaysia. Gerakan bn federal government is not educating malaysians about democracy, system of government. Penang must be richer than kl city hall and selangor. selangor is unable to build mtr, you expect penang government to print money for trams and airport expansion? Penang is a state and not a country and the minister of transport is former mca member and now umno member. Otherwise all states can have their own police, military and judges.


Kevin you missed the point.
It is better to get the response from BN federal government first.
Knowing that BN will reject funding, let them put it on record so that they do ot come back to tell you that they were not approached.
Also it is good to see the proposal from BN, if any at all.


cwf I think you did not read the open letter written by the CM to the PM. In the letter the CM says that if the federal govt does not want to give funding to build public transportation it is alright, the state is willing and is able to do it themselves. All the state wants is the license and approval to do it.


We should be asking the incompetent CAT, what did we vote him in for. If he keep asking help from BN, I think we should all vote BN GErakan, MCA and MIC next time. After all he cannot do anything but also need to ask help from BN. …


He will not ask BN if the tax collected from Penangites is directly channeled to Penang government’s budget.


AG’s Report has repeatedly highlighted that things are procured at ridiculously high price. it is some form of ‘reward’ for cronies (ketua bahagian)? No punishment so far and MACC has been closing both eyes on such matter.

What say you on such matter?


Anil, you are right.
Do you know that most of the China-made ‘laptop computer’ recently provided by Ministry of Education to school teachers are of inferior quality with cases of h/w and s/w breakdown. The middle-men made money in the procurement?


If lge does not ask, penang gets telor and perlis get a better transport which yang and tunglang is happy to pay to support gerakan bn federal government.


Yang is telling all states like sabah, Sarawak, trenggsnu or even rich state like selangor building kidex, mtr, dams, treatment do need gerakan bn federal government. You Cat is certainly better. Your printing money is better. We voe for you.


If CAT is incompetent, then why did the incompetence not brought up by the AG’s Report?
The AG’s Reports have repeatedly told us the wastage, leakage, overpriced projects, mismanagement….all from BN administration!


A lot more (foreingers), especially the Chinese will come to live in Penang thus creating a congestion in the island. With that do not expect the Umno schmucks to help you with the any solution. I am saying it again above all things don’t even wait or waste one more minute to have a dissemination plant built in the island. Especially when you have to depend on the mainland for the supply of water. The Umno schmucks will behave like they did or try to do to Singapore when Singapore was so dependent on the water from Johore. Singapore so… Read more »


The tunnel will cause greater congestion, more and more cars pouring in from mainland to gurney drive. To make it worse, soon a man made island outside Tanjung ToKong to join in the dead lock. This nightmare created by whom???????


Why not Jalan sehala to the mainland? Tunglang loves to escape to belum forest. Tunnel makes escape faster. Traffic jam means kopi o kau2


You have nothing constructive to spin in the clueless, wasteful CAT tunnel? Go drink more Sg Pinang Black Tea with CAT flavour!!! Your comment adds irrelevant dirt to not worth the Cosmopolitan Penang class of finesse & global ethics of speaking / writing / presentation. Jalan sehala for a tunnel costing billions, my God! Anyway, I intend to stay put in Penang Island working on more than one job I love doing while enjoying recreation in Belum Rainforest whenever I have the time (permit to enjoy). Get real, who can retire 100% like Mr. Kee in Sg Petani when… Read more »


Kopi o kau2. and what is your cat? A 4 wheel drive use 98% in the city or owning 2 cars in the city and only time permit to go to belum forest. Your cat is better than lge’s cat. Using yang’s gerakan bn federal government public transport is a sore.


Now we can really see that DAP LGE is really an incompetent CAT. They cannot resolved problems but instead create more and more problems that leads to congestion and environment damage with their fast track development without concrete plan except prestige development to show the people that we have progress but progress that did not benefits the poor and common people. In Parliament they fire salvo after salvo against the BN govt for incompetency and now they want to get help from them. The worst part is the Jardip that keep asking for help to resolve the housing problem and… Read more »


You are asking pr government to control prices of houses in penang, better ask gerakan bn government to control food and other items in whole of malaysia


Prices of food and other essential good have been fairly controlled in the whole of Malaysia but in Penang with lower salaries, hawkers food are now on par or much much higher than in many part of Malaysia.


72k for 200k , Is not that lies or cheating by DAQP …govt


Yang and tunglang can provide their feedback directly to DAP leaders (Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Khalid Samad, Azmin Ali, Chow Kon Yeow, Jagdeep Singh, Ramkarpal Singh dan Dyana Sofya) tonight (Saturday 21 June) at Pekan Air Itam (Opposite RHB Bank) at 8pm.

Anil may want to cover the event (DAP Thanksgiving Ceramah).


I won`t be going to listen to their lies again. Anyway the election is over, why keep on having ceramah. What we want now is to work for the people no more cheap talk.


Yang of course you love to listen to umno, ibrahim, noordin, ridhuan tee. I do not mind listening to them to see the lies they are telling.


Yang, you are absolutely right who got the free time to listen & get drunk overnight in the market listening to ‘shiok-shiok’ CAT spinning when the reality at ground level is the opposite sentimentalities. Why not hold an Eveready CAT strip-tease ‘koh tai’ cheap entertainment which will be much to the liking of boh bing chui Ayer Itam folks? Some have no decency of intellectual discourse to outright accuse us of bellicosing with the now Penang opposition, when in reality the ‘dirts’ are flying in the course of CAT Cosmopolitan Frenzies. I wonder how many alley cats around Ayer Itam… Read more »


Yang and tunglang could provide their feedback directly to DAP tonite (Saturday 21 June) 8pm at Pekan Air Itam (Opposite RHB Bank).

Anil might want to be there as well to cover the DAP Thanksgiving Ceramah.
Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Khalid Samad, Azmin Ali, Chow Kon Yeow, Jagdeep Singh, Ramkarpal Singh and Dyana Sofya will be there.


No want force you to but, live in penang. If.kedah is more kuching and penang tikus, migrate to kedah just as other Malaysians wanting to migrate to penang and not kedah or perak because they see real cat in penang than kedah or perak


Yes, I totally agree with you Yang.
No more dramas from the state please.
Where is the local master plan?

Jean Cena

Penang government should collect RM1 for every car entering the island, use the money collected to build a better public transport system.


The bridge toll went to Federal government, right?
If so, then the Penang government could colelct additional RM1 for the public transportation fund.


Singapore has just increased effective from August, the daily Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) for foreign cars entering the island on weekdays (2am to 5pm) from S$20 to $35 (RM90!). So RM1 is ver reasonable for Penang to impose.


Trams to be back in Penang ?!

Anil must be beaming with joy !