Transparency is needed not only for the land reclamation work in southern Penang Island, but also for the plan for the controversial cable car project on Penang Hill.
theSun reported in May 2015:
(Tourism Minister) Mohamed Nazri fully agrees with the proposed plan and thinks that the cable car will be a good two-pronged strategy for the state’s tourism industry and public transportation sector.
“The cable car project will also serve the need of alternative public transportation from Teluk Bahang. It will also be a good tourist attraction in Penang Hill. It just make sense”, he explained.
In 2013, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has proposed a cable car system to connect the Youth Park, Penang Hill and Teluk Bahang to further tap the tourism potential of these three popular areas.
The estimated 33km cable car network was part of of the Special Area Plan (SAP) for Penang Hill and could create an alternative route to the popular tourist destinations which are visited by some 10,000 people a day during peak season.
The cost for the system is projected at RM270 million with the Youth Park route costing RM60 million, the Botanical Garden route – RM60 million and the Teluk Bahang route – RM150 million.
Some questions below:
- Where will the proposed cable car system land? At the Botanic Garden quarry, the Youth Park car park, near the Turf Club or Teluk Bahang?
- Is it true that the Special Area Plan committee is against the project, including any plan for it to land in the Garden?
- Is it true that the consultants for the SAP did not expressly recommend the project?
- So who is bulldozing this project through?
- Will the cable car project add more pressure for property development on Penang Hill?
- What kind of damage will be caused by the cable car pylons and how will the pylons be maintained without opening up a new track up the hill?
Just because the federal government is willing to allocate RM270m for this project, it does not mean it will be good for Penang Hill, the Botanic Garden or the Youth Park area.
Thanks to the new ‘Speedy Gonzales’ trains which whisk you up up Penang Hill in less than 10 minutes, the summit has almost reached or surpassed its carrying capacity of 10,000 people/day. A new cable car system will only worsen the situation.
Not all ‘development’ is good development. There is such a thing has bad or unsustainable development.
Again, we can’t wait for ‘approval’ to be given before making noise. By then, it will be too late.