This is the message I left on his Facebook.
“Deepest condolences to Eric’s family from Penang in Malaysia. Eric was passionate about sustainability mobility in Penang and worked hard to convince the state to take this path and move away from its unsustainable mega transport plan.
“A true friend of Penang, he was always positive and never lost faith in its people, that good sense will prevail. A few days ago the state government said it would be holding a meeting soon to relook its mega transport plan. Hopefully, Eric’s dream will come true.
“Rest in peace, dear friend of Penang. We will remember your untiring efforts and perseverance.”
If you missed it, the state government is holding a meeting later this month to take another look at its plan.
Basically, as Eric and many others saw it, the mega-project known as “PTMP” was always going to be unsustainable. And that has been borne out by recent developments.
Apparently, you can’t build an LRT line without enough land for a depot. And that depot was supposed to be on one of the three artificial islands – Island A.
But the Department of Environment has rejected the environmental impact assessment report for the reclamation. So how to build Island A – and the light rail depot anytime soon?
The real reason, I suspect, is that the funds raised from the piecemeal reclamation of half of Island A for a start will not be enough to finance either the RM10bn Komtar-to-Penang airport elevated light rail or the RM9bn Pan Island Link.
So the rejection of the EIA offers a face-saving way out of this mess.
Let’s hope that good sense prevails. I can imagine Eric smiling if the state government finally sees the light and terminates this ill-conceived PTMP.