Prasarana’s ‘no response’ to Penang’s free bus service proposal?


Why is Prasarana not agreeing to the Penang government’s proposal for free bus service in Penang?

Is it because the RM10m to be set aside by the Penang government is not enough? If not, why?
This report from the Pemandu website:

Penang proposed free public transport during peak hours
Guang Ming

30 JUNE 2012 – Penang state government plans to set aside RM10 million a year for public bus operators to provide free ride for seven hours a day on every working day to encourage the use of public transport in order to address traffic congestion on the island.

Unfortunately, the proposal did not receive any positive response from Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana).

If successfully implemented, chief minister Lim Guan Eng said, the public will be provided with free ride on Monday to Friday, from 6am to 9am and 4pm to 8pm, to reduce number of cars on the road.

Prasarana has also been urged to give Penang state government a written reply pertaining to this proposal.

Thanks to blog reader tuakee for the link.

There are other ways the Penang state government and RapidPenang can work together. Off-hand, I list some ideas:

  • Subsidise monthly season tickets. They are now too expensive and not easily available around the corner to where people live.
  • Give incentives to people who buy monthly season tickets. Say, if people produce 12 monthly season tickets, it would qualify them for a special appreciation award.
  • Provide a subsidy – or confine the RM100 handout vouchers – to those who buy bicycles including the foldable types.
  • Launch an all-out campaign for people to use buses, similar to the Cleaner, Greener Penang campaign.
  • When doing road-widening, put in place dedicated bicycle lanes instead of expanding the space for cars. Why discriminate against cyclists?

These suggestions are surely do-able. I am sure others can think of even more feasible ideas to promote sustainable transport.

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Javeed R. Metrra

STOP!, just get PENANG to be a Special Administrative Region of Malaysia. So Penang can stand alone, decide and do the best for its people. Federal Government can collect more revenue from S.A.R.M Penang. That way people can live a better life for the tax the pay.. Every tax payers benefit and the poor too can have a better life.


I took the CAT free bus this morning. It was packed with old folks, tourists and families. I felt great to see the smiling faces of people enjoying the free ride


There is no need to give free bus service for everyone. They don’t have control over Rapid. If they control rapid then they can give free bus service, but they don’t. The money will go to Rapid which is owned by Prasarana, a federal agency? It doesn’t make sense. If the state wants to provide free bus service and it has the money to do so, why not set up its own public transport company like SBS and SMRT in Sg? That way the state gov can fully control it. It can even be more efficiently run compared to Rapid… Read more »


mega projects are not always the best solution especially if they contribute primarily to enriching selected few while the mass benefits are neglected. Traffic like buses in Penang still under Federal (eg Syed Hamid) control. So unless there’s a change of heart, not easy to implement state intiatives. The rich who can afford cars expenses do feel free to enjoy. However, sorry to say those who can’t afford such lifestyles better resort to public transport (putting ‘bin chui’ aside) to save money for more important daily expenses. According to recent GuangMing paper report (see link below), 47% Msian youths are… Read more »

Kien Hong

47% Msian youths are in debt. 37% money no enough.
Enough evidence that BN has failed us big time.

ong eu soon

That is nothing compare to 31330 go bankrupt unable to service their housing loans. You now have extra 31330 properties waiting to be auction and go into the statistic of properties overhang. Don’t worry no properties bubble bust will occur the politicians will tell you.


Why worry?
As long as Cosmopolitan Penang dream is fulfilled, who cares if many will go bankrupt or have to seek AKPK solution. This is no people-centric as far as I can see.
Let’s see when the property bubble bursts, better still before GE13.
Many are still hero-worshipping without money sense.
Btw, my advice for those still Bing Chui-ing like property wildebeests to access AKPK for simple money management or seek early financial debt management before O’Blady banks go for crocodile-tears act of foreclosure of your properties.


Cosmopolitan Penang passion also includes mega projects no developers can give up. What sustainability is there?
Penang gomen should re-look at this passion instead of dizzy implementing ala SingLand not viable for the just get by Penangites (the majority including the middle-class soon to be lower class).
Cosmopolitan Penang = for rich & famous = taking Penangites for a surprise.

Jom Sure Giler Meletup

Penang is not just the island.
If angry and fed up with island’s progress = development = cosmopolitan rich, still have the option to move to the mainland Penang.
Frustration, Fed Up create tension high blood pressure heart attack in the making.
Come and live elsewhere lah ……if miss Hokkien Mee can always “tah pau” to mainland.

Ong Goo Kang

True. keep cool if you want to continue to savour your har mee with kopi kaw kaw.

no need to talk too much. just remember to get as many people to register and vote on GE13 to effect the change!

Ong Goo Kang

The only megaproject we do not want to see in Penang is mega Church like the City harvest one.


tunglang can save on lime/lemon when dining as his mouth is already sour with envy and jealousy. Learn to be content.

Buddha says:
“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”


Although I like the idea of promoting taking public transport culture, but I am skeptic about the subsidies. There is no free lunch in this world. Thanks to mahathirism centralisation, many Malaysian just too accustom “cheap is nice, free is even better” mentality, at the end, those services end up in cheapskate cronies hand. It is economy stupidity to have “only one cheap fares”, when there is bunch of drivers afford to pay a higher price for tentative and better quality bus services, more efficient route, etc. subsidies and “”public transport communism” will kill motivation to improve! I like to… Read more »


We Rakyat get too accustomed to free this, free that comes election around the corner. Sustainable? Of course free is welcome, but most important is the cari-makan for affordable lifestyle & for fulfilling one’s dreams/missions. I, like many with little to get by (each day) am not bowled over by glitters & bling-bling of cosmopolitan lifestyles ala Sing Kah Poh or HongKee. The same goes for ‘timely’ free giveaways for political shopping for favorable voter’s perceptions. Many like us with little to get by are too wary (now). ‘Wan Sek’ is more important than Han Chiang Rally of shiok-shiok sendiri… Read more »

syiok syiok

Money can make a person luxury high or leave a person depressed/disillusioned.

Live life fullest most simple way and stop craving tempted by worldly desires.

Andy Gibb (brother of Bee Gees) died young despite fame and money and he can always remind us of DESIREs…..

Kien Hong

tunglang’s ranting is a clear sign of frustration after putting decades of trust and faith in the BN government. We have witness plenty of such behavior in Anil’s blog. Pakatan may not be better than BN. But the key word is CHANGE. Many things are impossible under BN regime because it needs to take care of its cronies’ interest. Free transportation or more efficient public transportation can never be realised under BN regime because it is serving the bottom-line of Proton! I suggest tunglang think carefully when he is sipping his kaw kaw kopi. he chsould channel his frustration to… Read more »


Kien Hong: frustration after putting decades of trust and faith in the BN government… You must be joking! If one is happy with trust & worshipping of racist policies in BN, how can one be frustrated at the same time? Twisted minds or dual personality? Or Boh Lan Hoot? I have never hoped on BN gomen or its racist policies since leaving school to etch out a living on my own terms, on my values & principles in the private sector. No hand outs, no business aids, no nothing came 4 recessions. Just pure hard work & reinvesting on self… Read more »



use your coffee kaw kaw for good thinking and reflect on your 10 commandments. The City Harvest Church incident in Singapore has englightened me not to put to much trust on the words of any mega church pastor (they human after all). I trust my reading of the Bible and will not contribute to any ‘building fund’ that is likely to be misused.


Trust the Bible, trust & obey the Commandments. Not excuses of any man’s or church fallibility in the name of God.
Then morality shouldn’t exist in the first place. What hope of a future is there?

Sze Tho

I beg to differ, MT. In Germany, services such as the busses and U Bahn are operated with the sole intent of providing an affordable and efficient mode of transport for the masses. It is NOT about making money for private operators. The flip side: it needs to be run by a gov owned entity. Properly funded to begin with. Profesionally run. And non profit orientated. To achieve it, $$$ thru taxes. Savings to the people because no need to buy private cars. More $$$ avail for education, recreation , etc . Simple! On the other end if it, we… Read more »

Gerakan K

Why respond to ‘gila’ proposal ??? As a tax payer (both state and federal taxes) I feel extremely angry because LGE gives away my tax money just like that. After free cash here and there for silly reasons, now free bus service ??? Why my tax money just wasted like that ??? I feel better when my tax money goes to support USM or other universities. I don’t take bus. So no benefit for me and I oppose such ‘gila’ free lunch proposal. You must pay using your own money when taking bus and not my tax money !!! Malaysia… Read more »


many USM students take bus daily.

more buses on the road. Less cars and the rakyat can spend patrol money to improve domestic spending on barang buatan malaysia – itu gila kah ?

Sze Tho

Mentally challenged people like GK will take years to educate. Might take too long. There is no cure for stupidity.

Jonny T

Gerakan K’s mindset is very self centered. Since he doesn’t take public transport, he thinks government should not spend money on it. To hell with those with no car or motobike… the poor, students, foreigners, tourist, etc.

Similarly the USM students who mostly take public transport can also ask why should government spend their parents tax money to widen/build more roads so people like Gerakan K can zoom around?

With our population growing, it is not sustainable to keep widening roads to keep up with increasing number of cars.


Bing Chui, Speedy Gonzales lifestyle, easy credit/financing & low down payment, no patience with public transport’s irregular schedule & hot weather (walking from point A to point B is near to sauna temperature) & no safe bicycle lanes or rack on buses for bicycles.
Electric bicycles are viable & cheaper options for more people than motorcycles. Moreover it cannot kill by speeding (max speed less than 30km?). Why is it not approved by gomen & JPJ? No money to be made? – no driving test or riding license mah!


Gelakan, Did not your N… give out free RM500/ Anyway giving out some money for deserving people is better than (certain quarters) taking billions corruptly from cowgate, scorpene and many others …

You just like the pornstar adulterer idiotic accountant son who don’t even how to count as was blown in the face by the Talam case


free shuttle if implemented efficiently and effectively can bring in many positive social economical impact.
with sistem bas pajak cronies outdated in penang island, there should be less resistances should Pemandu (Idris Jala) can have strong will to execute it without fear of favour.
Also Koh can prove to islanders he got the …. to make this happen from federal execution to regain his tarnished image ?????

Let’s set the ball rolling……LGE and Koh do join hands to make this a joyous occasion since free port status is more a dstant political reality !

Jonny T

The problems we have with public transport: 1. The bureaucrats running it usually drive to work & their attitude. A friend of mine works in putrajaya and she was called “one of those tree hugging people” when her colleagues found out she took public transport to work. Putrajaya is already non very pedestrian & public transport friendly 2. Federally controlled. Little freedom or resources for local state to plan their own solutions. As seen in the main article above. 3. Transport solutions are usually belated… after traffic jams become common. 4. Heavy dependence on the car with new townships &… Read more »

Sze Tho

True. The solution can only be truly achieved with a comprehensive change of policy at federal level, followed with meaningful cooperation with the states.


State Proposed Free Bus only during Peak Hours (6am-9am) and 4pm to 8pm.

So don’t expect free lunch all the time.

The aim is for people to leave private vehicles at home to prevent cars amok on the congested road detrimental to wallets and environment and health. Also to discourage more who can’t afford to go buy cars and go fall deeper into financial debt and become bankrupt easily. A reality check !