Penang Forum meets Council of Eminent Persons, urges review of RM46bn mega transport project

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The RM46bn SRS rojak

A delegation of Penang Forum representatives today met the Council of Eminent Person and called for a review of SRS Consortium’s exorbitant RM46bn transport infrastructure shopping list.

Penang Forum is asking for an independent review by an internationally renowned body of sustainable mobility experts such as the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

The institute works around the world to “design and implement high quality transport systems and policy solutions that make cities more livable, equitable, and sustainable”. It provides “technical expertise to accelerate the growth of sustainable transport and urban development around the world”.

Penang Forum pointed out that under the Halcrow Plan, the public transport component costs just RM10bn, including improvements to trains, buses, and ferries. Also within that RM10bn cost is RM8bn for a bus rapid transit system and modern trams, largely elevated or segregated except within the heritage zone.

Cost of the public transport component of the Halcrow plan
The Halcrow plan for the island

But Halcrow was then asked to insert the RM6bn tunnel-and-three-highways projects into its plan.

When SRS Consortium came into the picture in 2016, the overall cost ballooned to RM46bn. Some of the components of the SRS project such as the RM8bn six-lane Pan Island Link highway will actually discourage people from using public transport. SRS ditched much of the tram system opting instead for elevated LRT, which will be more expensive to build, operate and maintain.

The juicy carrot dangling before it seemed to be a 4,500-acre land reclamation project, which would be much larger than Forest City in Johor. After all, SRS stands for Southern Reclamation Scheme.

Penang Forum added that upgrading the ferry system would be a more sustainable and cost-effective option than building an undersea tunnel.

It pointed out that circumstances have changed since the transport masterplan was formulated. The federal government, now under PH, could improve sustainable services like buses, ferries and railways.

The state government had countered Penang Forum by arguing that the RM46bn SRS plan would not cost much in public funds as the state would raise funds by selling the reclaimed land to developers.

But the state’s argument is fatally flawed as reclamation is not without enormous costs: it will mean obtaining huge bridging loans to finance the reclamation while the fragile coastline and fishing grounds will be destroyed, affecting some 3,000 fisher folk. Hence, food security would be critically undermined. Tons of rocks and sand will have to be dug up from elsewhere. Moreover, the expensive cost of dredging to tackle future siltation – running into hundreds of millions of ringgit – will have to be borne by the public while developers, consultants and contractors reap massive profits.

The state has also not seriously considered the burden to the public if LRT ridership figures do not meet optimistic projections, resulting in operational losses running into the millions.

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Ho Wan Lai

Excessive Private Car ownership is the root cause which Penang Forum deliberately ignored. The green environment supporters would like to ask how many cars each member household has, starting with Mr Anil, pls.

feste

chicken and egg scenario…if the public transport system in Penang was good to begin with Penangites would not have bought and and owned cars seeing how expensive the cars are in Malaysia and how stressful it is to drive in Penang

Nora

Need to have plan to reduce the number of cars on the road.

Norman

Did Halcrow Plan ever anticipate the rapid rise and high car ownership on Penang island, and the peak hour traffic jam on existing roads?

tunglang

Start with Penang island car ownership. Start with one household /family of 3 – 5 eligible for 2 cars limit. More than that, an annual state tax / fee will be imposed based on the engine cc. on an increasing scale tied to increasing number of vehicle ownership per household. Companies with cars for own transport like tuition centres / daycare are exempted from tax / fee but are required to fulfil the limits of 3-5 cars / vans depending on transportation needs. Another measure is to require vehicles with odd or even plate number to use the road on… Read more »

Shriek

Ah pek, dummo dna? Discrimination. Whether black or white cats, all cats subject to same tolls. Otherwise the 11 states impose differentisation of outstation cars

Song

Vehicle purchases responsible for a large number of bankruptcy cases in Malaysia – one out of every four

https://paultan.org/2016/04/22/vehicle-purchases-responsible-for-majority-of-bankruptcy-cases-in-malaysia-one-out-of-every-four/

Fai Gan

Buy now but later repossessed by banks when cannot service loan. Very common. Can see many new cars at second hand dealers.

Song

Frustrated Penang resident starts petition to lobby support for LRT, new highway

https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/57118

Henry

CM Chow must listen to both sides of argument.

tunglang

Off topic:
Almost all foreign workers in study carry food poisoning microbes
Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/06/23/bad-hygiene-offers-food-for-thought-govt-urged-to-check-practices-that-lead-to-health-hazards/#qqm5SChzPS3TOede.99

About time to eat home cooked food. Those who employ foreign workers (b’cos they are cheap) have to bear the responsibility of unhygienic food andling by these foreign workers. It seems they are far more worst than the over rated unhygienic of street hawker stalls who fared much better.
No more GST, still wanna charge like nobody’s business with all these food poisoning microbes around?
NYIAMAK!

Mah HS

Unscrupulous bosses open chains of similar restaurants (mostly 24-hr) using cheap migrant workers reaping hugh profits. Good to see tunglang showing concern about hygiene factor.

Fai Gan

Yesterday several eateries at Gurney Plaza suddenly closed because there was a raid on illegal foreign workers.

shriek

Personally I overheard a tai pai dong ( street stall) boss to cook economic rice during day time and then ot at night. Can do anything with migrant workers

Song

Migrant workers at 24-hr mamak restaurants work 12-hr shift on rotation, so 2 workers can share same bed on rotation – cost savings for customers or the employers exploit them for profit?

Henry

Many unscrupuluos local clinics ‘certify disease free’ for foreign workers if the undercounter payment is fulfilled, so that they could gain employment carrying the disease. Beware!

Ma jiji

I do have a feeling that Pg. Forum does has an agenda deliberately to challenge the Pg. administration, right from LGE’s term till now CKY’s.

tunglang

Many thanks to Penang Forum & Khoo Salma for creating awareness & fighting on behalf of Penangites. Contentious issues which we have no access to.
We can forget about truthful awareness from The Star which is beholden to developers (for their ad revenues).

Sandy

Penang Forum folks ever take RapidPenang when packed with migrant workers?

quan

RapidPenang seldom packed with migrant workers, please don’t misled.

shriek

How migrant workers go to town? Migrant workers no need to Ronda ronda? Oh migrant workers travel in saloon or sport cars? If work in mamak, then kopi licence?

Henry

Try on weekend during their off day.

Song

Will CM Chow move into Seri Teratai that requires RM1.2 million to restore?

http://m.thesundaily.my/node/558658

Ma jiji

Car dealers here are trying to rev up their stockpile as bookings are coming in fast and furious.
Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/06/26/car-dealers-were-trying-to-keep-up-with-roaring-demand/#QOUzCVegdDdbcEyV.99

How to stop more cars on the road ? I think it’s much too late now, especially after decades of “flamboyant” society.
Throw all into the sea ?

Saladin

Actually bro, why are they reclaiming huge tracts of land on the north and south of the island? Should t… https://t.co/5CN2KHwjWh

bigjoe

The Penang Forum Vs. govt has turned into a you say, I say thing..Penang Forum plan is not credible because it says very little about paying for it and too determined to be socialistic to be realistic. While the Penang Govt plan which was originally designed without having power in Putrajaya is determined to just beat down Penang Forum. Its just ridiculous on both sides.

bigjoe

Only the financing and roads and tunnel are SRS plan. So come up with a financing plan with a train and arguing against it is just excuses.

Shriek

At that time, who can only operate buses in whole of Malaysia? Only dummos and cronies. Gmuda has to kau Tim putrajaya. How much ghee and butter gmuda has to spread on the bread?

quan

Bravo !!! Eventually Penang Forum is having an upper hand !!!
Hallelujah !

tunglang

Cheers Kopi-O kau kau kau!

quan

Penang Forum is backed by a group of experts will not be so easily defeated one !!!

shriek

Yes kopi kau kau drinking polluted water drawn from from SG muda. What so sustainable?

quan

Penang is running too fast – that is unsustainable!

shriek

Then when going to migrate?

shriek

Like siai boey? After writing a letter to unesco, sia body is neither dead or alive.