Penang transport needs decentralisation


Perceptive statement below on decentralisation in Penang. Generally, I agree with the thrust of this piece except:

We should forget monorail. It has not had great success elsewhere as a viable form of mass transit (apart from being a tourist gimmick). Besides, the transport masterplan consultant is recommending buses and trams.

Why are we still talking about the Penang Outer Ring Road? I thought Penangites already made their feelings known loud and clear about this under the BN administration. Penangites said ‘No to Porr’, remember? And we won. That struggle is already done and dusted.

Also we should consider a rail link on the second bridge to promote more sustainable inter-state travel. The first bridge should have a dedicated bus/tram lane. The toll from the Penang bridges should be used to finance sustainable transport in the state and beyond.

We need a Penang Sustainable Transport Commission that would oversee the the coordination and development of buses, trams, cycle lanes, ferries, pedestrian walkways.

Otherwise, this statement by Kon Yeow, Jeff Ooi and Chin Tong is the way to go.

Decentralisation of transport governance must be part of the election debate

Press conference statement by Chow Kon Yeow, Liew Chin Tong and Jeff Ooi on 22nd May 2012 in Komtar, George Town, Penang :

Malaysia is arguably one of the most centralised nations in the world despite having a federal structure. It has come to a stage in which a change of federal government is required to solve transport woes in Penang.

It sounds ridiculous to the outside world that a central government would decide on the bus routes of a remote town as well as managing garbage collection but it is a reality that Malaysians are grappling with daily.

The other ridiculous example is that Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), a Penang-based university funded by the Federal Government, is running a budget of RM 1.2 billion whereas the State Government of Penang runs a budget of RM 740 million. Total federal budget is RM232 billion.

The Federal Government pays RM 2 billion annual rental to Putrajaya Holding, a company which shares are mostly owned by Petronas, for the usage of office and residential spaces in Putrajaya.

The Federal Government collects at least RM 3 billion direct income taxes from Penang and RM 16 billion from Selangor but allocates to the respective State Governments averagely RM 100 million and RM 400 million.

This is no longer tenable.

The Federal Government’s own New Economic Model, which is now defunct, suggests that we must “empower state and local authorities to develop and support growth initiatives, and encourage competition between localities (Pg 101)” and rightly pointed out that “National governance worldwide is becoming less top-down and more decentralised as the complexities of business and society exceed the capability and effectiveness of traditional top-down management (Pg 131)”.

As far as the governance of transportation, short-term rearrangements and long-term reorganisations of governing structure is required.  Penang State Government commissions a Transport Master Plan study and to look into the overarching transport planning for Penang. The consultant proposed both long term and short term strategies. Some proposals require the cooperation and commitment from the Federal Government as follows:

Mode of transport Short-term rearrangement
Long-term reorganisation after the change of Federal Government
Port, ferry The Penang State Government has offered to buy the Penang Port as well as the ferry services. Penang Port and ferry services shall be managed by the Penang State Government.
Buses/public transport 1. Federal Government should honour its words to deliver 200 new buses to Rapid Penang as promised in the 10th Malaysia Plan in June 2010.

2. Rapid Penang should accept directors nominated by the Penang State Government like it was when Barisan Nasional was running the State.

3. The Penang State Government has requested for a total of 800 buses to be provided to Rapid Penang instead of the currently 350 buses.

4. The Federal Government must explain the status of the previously promised Monorail.

5. State Government has implemented first Park and Ride Scheme in Malaysia. Federal Government can provide incentives to State that implement such schemes.

1. The regulatory power of buses and other  mode of public transport should be devolved to the Penang State Government.

2. All bus routes planning should be under the State and Local authority.

Taxi 1. SPAD (Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam) needs implement taxi metre system in Penang.

2. A natural gas station should be built as soon as possible on the Island.

Licensing and fare structure should be governed by the Penang State Government and not by remote control from Kuala Lumpur/Putrajaya.
Bridge 1. Shares of the Penang Bridge originally owned by the Penang State Government shall be returned to the State.

2. Toll rates collected from the Penang Bridge must not be used to subsidise other privatised road projects.

3. Penang Bridge Authority should consider to add Bus lanes in the first bridge after the completion of 2nd Bridge.

1. The regulation, management and governance of the two Penang Bridges shall be vested in the Penang State Government.
Roads 1. All pending road works by the Federal Government should  be completed without delay, especially the long overdue Teluk Kumbar-Genting upgrade and the Second Bridge Dispersal roads of P27 Batu Maung to Penang Bridge and FT 3113 connecting Tun Lim Chong Eu Expressway.

2. The Sungai Nyoir toll shall be abolished with immediate effect by the Federal Government.

3. The Federal Government must state the status of the previously promised Penang Outer Ring Roads.

All roads in Penang should be entirely manage by the Penang State Government with adequate funding from the federal coffer and the right to borrow to finance infrastructure projects.

Malaysia needs a complete overhaul of its governing structure. This is our modest attempt to define a different future for transportation in Penang.

We urge Barisan Nasional Federal Government and its Penang representatives to address the short-term rearrangements required to solve transport woes in Penang, especially to honour BN’s various promises made previously.

The Pakatan Rakyat will take care of the long-term reorganisations once we are given the mandate to run the Federal Government.

Chow Kon Yeow – MP for Tanjong, State Exco for Local Government and Traffic
Liew Chin Tong – MP for Bukit Bendera
Jeff Ooi – MP for Jelutong

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It is fancy to have underground MRT/LRT to run in Penang…but did you notice that the cost to maintain it is very high to be justified? The following are the very high level analysis I have draw up Population of Penang Island – 704,000 Population of Penang Mainland – 816,000 Working population (discounted those elderly and infants) – approximately 325,000 person (according to latest Halcrow’s survey data) that’s only 21.3% of penangite traveling during morning peak! The 325,000 person trips do not travel within the penang island only but the whole penang state! Considering the almost 50/50 ratio of the… Read more »

haji idris



Step by step. First remove the crooks.


I cannot help but ask the writer of the article (presumably Jeff Ooi) who was it who opposed the PORR ferociously during BN’s admin. He wasn’t in Penang then or maybe he forgot but let me remind him that not only did the people of Penang oppose it, the DAP (then the opposition) was also against the PORR for many reasons including the environment. I can even remember Karpal Singh declaring during a ceramah that the DAP will try to stop PORR. Now why is DAP asking for the PORR and its ‘status’ ? They should be consistent in this… Read more »

Gerakan K

Why asking for more info ??? It’s clear they just bad mouth BN and tipu tipu tipu for your votes. That’s before election they oppose, now in power they are go for it. Can you see their tactics ??? Now they are federal opposition, so they say no hudud just negara kebajikan. Can you imagine what they do when they win GE ??? My prediction is that they will go for it. It is same scenario as in PORR issue. Under BN, there is no hudud fear because my 1Malaysia Blue Ocean strategist PM Najib said, hudud is unsuitable for… Read more »

Andrew I

Gherkin, you forgot no Genting too. Save you money, mah.


One Malaysia is another bluff isnt it or are you plain ignorant.

The Mud says he is 1 Malay first and Malaysian second.
and you stupid keep on saying Malaysian first


There is ONE temp place to run to from hudud: Langkawi.
This is the sanctuary of the … ApaNama legacy even the Lang cannot fly too high to claim such obnoxious legacy for Malaysia.
GK can go there & set up another sundry shop in hiding to continue Gelak-Gelakan legacy, a spineless spin-off from the original ….
I am starting to hear the Lang gelak-gelak ketawa high in the blue ocean strategized skies of Langkawi!


The best solution is to kick out a cheat govt

Gerakan K

Pakatan Kg Buah Pala and September 16 GRAND JUMPING projects also tipu ma. So how ???


Geelakan : Mengapa you selalu mahu tipu dan bohong. Sangat tak malu Betul kah you lahir selepas 13 bulan Something curious in 2005. The government stopped collecting rent for the Temporary Occupation License, arousing the residents’ suspicion that something was amidst. Unaware to them, the Executive Council of the then Chief Minister of Penang, Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon FROM GERAKAN, approved the sale of the land of Kampung Buah Pala to the Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang on 18 August 2004 and a second time on 8 June 2005, for RM6.42 million, or RM20 per square feet. On the… Read more »


September 16 ialah satu peluang or a chance for the adun to serve the people without corruption unlike … using millions to buy them back or in the case of Perak grab enticing them …. Or in the case of Zahrain, Noordin, Tan tee Beng and many others … fail and make PR even stronger.

The people will not be cheated … nor will they take out their hand for handover unlike wannabe and cronies.

Andrew I


Gerakan K

That is a lame spin by rocket machais !!!

Why state need more money from federal ??? And does federal total budget has any relation to state budget ???

Federal need more money for overall subsidies and expenditures. Subsidized goods also used by state people like sugar, petrol and much more.

Civil servants like teachers, police, etc also paid by federal $ and each state people also receiving services paid by federal.

Apamacam ??? Lagi mau tipu kah, rocket ???


Don`t try to bohong and tipu again Geelakan. Sugar has already not been subsidized much will soon be desubsidize to ensure that their … cronies will benefit. Under current price, petrol is no more subsidize and in fact the govt is making a profit from current prices. Electricity tariff have been increased and now we are charge an extra 1% tax. N… AMMO is now using govt money to buy votes at the next GE. But beware, you will soon have to pay out even more if you support a chit govt. GST WILL BE IMPLEMENTED and you will have… Read more »

Gerakan K

Green tax also complain kah ??? Where is your conscience ???

Gerakan K

Yang: Penangite pay the highest tax to the Federal govt

Another cerita dongeng


I don’t cerita donggeng or tell lies you you always do. One of the highest with the PR Selangor has the highest. Proof to me that I donggeng otherwise you are just one big liar


Who among the states pay more taxes?
You must be poping corns in your mind.
Trying to be rationale when USM is reaping sky high budget
way beyond the state’s? Are there many civil servants, space tourist-naut research projects or subsidies for whom in USM?
Apamacam lu pula???
Siapa tipu siapa, orang kampung juga tahu sekarang!

Gerakan K

You think USM just like your favorite SRJK(C) schools kah ??? You pernah masuk ke dalam USM kah ???

Finally don’t stingy on education. More $$$ for USM to improve the quality and infrastructure. If I’m the PM/Finance minister. I also don’t give too much $$$ especially for Penang state. Why ??? I am afraid LGE will splash the allocated cash to each Penangite. LGE will give you fish and don’t teach you how to fish.

USM is a training center that teach many Penangites HOW TO FISH !!! Paham ???!!!


Another … lies from you. LGE dont use public fund to give the Penangite unlike the cheat. The money he gave is from the saving and surplus generated by the govt and given back to the people. Frankly the (government) has not much money and is asking Parliament for RM13.8 billion more to spend this year which (may) breach the statutory debt ceiling and make us become like Greece, BANKRUPT. He is now using whatever it can to buy more votes to ensure that it can cover up whatever excesses it has done. More BR1M and money Well well AMMo… Read more »


All funds dished out by the government whether it is called BRIM or Penghargaan Warga Emas or whatever is still public funds. The gov is the trustee of public funds. Even if it is through savings or anti corruption efforts, ultimately it is still public funds and everyone is entitled to his or her opinion regarding its use. This is the same for both the federal and state govs. Eg. I do not agree that every senior citizen should be given money because many senior citizens are well to do, some are even very rich. Why should they receive money… Read more »


Fish for Barang Naiki votes!
Spend, spend, spend just to fish for votes!
Where’s the economic productivity?
What’s the ranking among world universities?
Sudah jatuh harga, lagi mahu gaya bayar macam Satu Lagi Projek!
Tak masuk akal langsung!
Ah Kong money mah!
Nanti satu hari orang Pulau Pinang kurang bayar tax, duit yang sepatutnya untuk Rakyat, bukan untuk dihabiskan gaya raya.

Gerakan K

Exactly, USM need $$$ to improve ranking


Even with such a high budget its rankings have been slipping every year.

Andrew I

That’s because it produces graduates like our friend here.


Ai ya guys, why do you all always fall into the trap of Gila ???

He is just a naughty …, always terkena with belacan, that is all.

Leave him alone or like Andrew, entertain him with one line will do.


I believe even Myanmar & Bangla graduates are much better. Some with brains of Aung San Suu Kyi.
But as we know Gelakan sundry shops dare not employ them lest these smart foreign graduates uncover some dirty gravy train trails!

Angry and Fed Up

Seriously, what can we do? As a Penangite, I feel frustrated and helpless. Just read about the privatization of the Penang Port…there is no way the Penang State Government can buy it now. Federal Gov. doesn’t care about Malaysia…look at how much they pump money in to make KL/Selangor nicely developed…other states are still kampungs Fed. gov only cares about feeding its cronies Penang gov wants to spruce up Batu Ferringhi but can’t…lots of Datuk cronies (allegedly) have money laundering businesses in this cowboy to touch? Penang police still … answer to Fed. gov (and rich cronies?)…how to enforce… Read more »


Change Putrefiedjaya comes GE13 into RakyatJaya!
Also, from here we will see the promised change of present botaking hill development into rehabilitated natural hills for man & flora & faunas.
These are dying breeds which Gelak-Gelakan is trying on the streets with a new hybrid call Teng! But to me, it is still Boh Lan Hoot legacy of the same gene.
One thing will never change in Penang:
The best Asian street food by Ori-Maestros in inner city George Town, not by KimmyGarish, Soulful Garden or PapaMama Richie!
Time for Kopi-O kau kau at my favorite kopitiam.

haji idris

Compare Chow Kon Yeow, Liew Chin Tong and Jeff Ooi with any Gelakan Teng nominees who want to transform Penang – the Penang people should be smart now whose words and actions can be trusted.

Gelakan Khor is now replaced by Gelakan Teng; so may be we can hear from Gerakan T instead of Gelakan K (obsolete) ?

Andrew I

Gherkin Khan becomes Gherkin Ting Tong.


I am not keen on a monorail either, as the elevated lines will destroy George Town. I am not enthusiastic about trams either, for similar reasons, as the overhead wires are unsightly and the trams will make be dangerous to motorcyclists and trishaws. It will also be a cultural imposition to processions such as Chingay, Thaipusam and Nine Emperor Gods festivals. We should consider an underground mass rapid transit system where the rail lines are out of sight. An across-the-board system should be implemented for fares using a smart card such as the Touch-n-Go on all public transports including buses,… Read more »


I support your suggestion of an underground MRT instead of a monorail or tram because of similar reasons. I feel that the MRT will have many times higher capacity than the tram or monorail. We may not need a high capacity now but we should plan for at least 20 to 30 years down the line. When singapore built their MRT their population was hardly 3 million. Now even their MRT is packed during peak hours. The cost will of course be many times more then that of a tram but is nevertheless a worthwhile investment for the future. SMRT… Read more »