Why does Penang’s elevated LRT cost keep rising?

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A monster elevated LRT station

In 2016, I highlighted concerns over the rising cost of the elevated light rail transit in Hawaii and warned that the same thing could happen in Penang.

Ever notice the rising cost for this project in the media in recent years?

Well, in 2015, they said the LRT cost from Komtar to the Penang Airport (17.5km) would only be RM4.5bn.

By 2016, the cost mentioned in the media for a 30km route had risen to RM7bn.

It was clarified in 2017 that the figure was RM7.4bn for the actual construction of a 24km line plus land acquisition of RM1bn for a totel of RM8.4bn.

By early July this year, it was reported that the cost would be RM9bn.

And now, we are told that the LRT cost would be “more than RM10bn“.

And the project has not even started! What’s going on?

No wonder the state government is desperately seeking public money from the federal government for this extravagant “PTMP”.

Why not explore cheaper options outlined in the Better, Cheaper, Faster alternative put forward by Penang Forum?

Look at the Halcrow plan which budgeted RM10bn for public transport for the entire state as opposed to RM10bn for a single LRT route.

Start with improving the bus service eg introducing bus lanes along certain stretches and real-time bus arrival times in an app.

But that’s probably too cheap for them compared to their RM46bn mega plan.

READ MORE:  My short vacation in Penang – using public transport
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Ken Song
Ken Song
27 Jul 2019 11.42am

Better for federal government to fund this LRT otherwise all tax payers money end up used for developing KL only!

So CM Chow must work with LGE Finance Ministry to get the funding.

BTS Mutiara
BTS Mutiara
27 Jul 2019 4.13pm
Reply to  Ken Song

CM Chow was at LRT Hunt Run as a way to promote PTMP. Not sure Penang Forum folks participated to offer alternative views while getting finale lucky draws for hampers and bicycles.

BTS Mutiara
BTS Mutiara
27 Jul 2019 4.15pm
Reply to  BTS Mutiara

The Run started this morning at Komtar ended at Giant Bayan Baru, covering the length of LRT and reminded the people about elected beams along the way. Some yearns for LRT after being terrified by chaotic traffic jam, and they can beam huggers one day.

Don Anamalai
Don Anamalai
29 Jul 2019 5.05pm

Cost keep rising simply because Ringgit is suffering from ED, cannot rise.

Ringgit cannot rise because of high national debt and household debt.

Simple economics.

Ken Fong
Ken Fong
28 Jul 2019 3.26pm

No open tender… that’s why the cost keeps on going up(?) Who will pay for this at the end – it will be us! Not many people will benefit from this LRT project. I am working in FIZ but I don’t find the LRT enters into the FIZ area. So, it is just a waste of money. At the end, FIZ workers will still drive to work. What’s the point spending 10B on this project??? Is it so important to connect KOMTAR to the airport? How many people will use it from KOMTAR to airport everyday? This is really a… Read more »

Wei
Wei
29 Jul 2019 9.21am
Reply to  Ken Fong

don’t worry, they will build one dedicated line from your house to your workplace, because you are so special that they can’t afford to let you down. you see if you keep kbkp until mental that will be great loss to our nation…hehe

Shriek
29 Jul 2019 11.10am
Reply to  Ken Fong

Ask peng land forum. Why they no kbkb over half crow transport plan? They can ask roger. Expert did not open mouth on this.

tunglang
tunglang
25 Jul 2019 10.49pm

If DAPCAT gomen was stupid not to notice the ever rising cost of LRT, it is more stupid to still support LRT project after it only dares to ask from Federal for money to pay for part of PTMP. Surely the project delivery partner (PDP) will go to great length to raise the costs justifiably knowing the money is Ah Kong’s to splurge.

bumi non malay
26 Jul 2019 1.30pm
Reply to  tunglang

How about pulling out of Tabung Haji-Felda $25 Bail out …?? Why Not talk like this instead of condemning the 2nd richest state in Malaysia…Surely they deserve LRT & its better than … bailing out Tabung Haji … afraid to speak out because sedition right….. or cannot think clearly due to years of UMNO-PAS -brain washing…?? Have you ponder how Najib Tax Bill can be $1.8 Billion….with interest….and you want help in PTMP…

Shriek
26 Jul 2019 9.16pm
Reply to  tunglang

You orso stupid not to notice rising cost? You mean workers no pay rise. Your one ton mee has become two ton mee.

Milk Tea
Milk Tea
28 Jul 2019 12.25pm
Reply to  Shriek

Construction worker huge pay rise? Must be good working as foreign labor now… Nah, greedy developers will continue exploiting them and leeching off their cronie gomen for kangtau, win-win for both…some money for your boss, some money for me…So, why not make the price as high as possible…the one paying is us taxpayers…

Shriek
29 Jul 2019 11.04am
Reply to  Milk Tea

Yes, tu lang ‘s relative is working in the construction with developer. You want some! Go and see the new macc boss. She will orso give you nasi kandar.

Anfield
Anfield
28 Jul 2019 12.16pm

A very popular Vlog of PRC Chinese post retirement life (born in 70s!) in Penang as MM2H resident:
https://youtu.be/3plc-tUGs6Y

Lim Goh Poh
Lim Goh Poh
27 Jul 2019 10.12am

One term Pakatan is buzzing now. NGOs like Penang Forum too state-centric to overlook bigger event to unfold implicating whatdoever plans for Penang??????

Lim Goh Poh
Lim Goh Poh
27 Jul 2019 10.13am
Reply to  Lim Goh Poh

GE15 NGOs further split the nation with Harapan now infinity wars no end game in near sight?
https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2019/07/27/is-pakatan-harapan-a-one-term-wonder/

Anfield
Anfield
3 Aug 2019 11.03pm

Sim self-proclaimed to be a ‘Voice of People’ in PTMP:
https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2019/08/03/penang-south-reclamation-project-must-only-be-last-resort-to-fund-transport/1777417

How can that be? He could not even hear the voices of his Bayan Baru wanting their library reinstated. More likely be a one-term MP.

tunglang
tunglang
4 Aug 2019 10.54pm
Reply to  Anfield

An opportunist politician taking Penangites for fools with saliva-laced words!
Kong song, be cho! Better go to Pahang to sell U-turned Lynas investment for Pakatan Harapan of many U-turn sifus!

Lim Goh Poh
Lim Goh Poh
28 Jul 2019 11.50am

Prangin canal rejuvenated Anil should be happy thete is now green space for heritage folks to hee hee haa haa enjoy leisure time there.

https://youtu.be/3VY3JOLi_jQ

Not sure the fishes released can survive the heat or possible street food cookjng oil contamination.

Anfield
Anfield
29 Jul 2019 12.32pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

Canal or pond does not matter.
Remember hokkien saying: “Bo Hoo He Pun Ho” – no fish prawn also good!

Still water on pond can represent calmness, no political tussle and hassle from interest grouos. Maybe Chow has consulted his feng shui master.

Hu Xing
Hu Xing
29 Jul 2019 2.21pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

Good effort to rejuvenate Penang, but those Forumers will continue to kpkb to suit their agenda even though they are polluting our air with their car exhaust!

Anfield
Anfield
30 Jul 2019 8.02am
Reply to  Hu Xing

GEORGE TOWN, July 29 — The restored Prangin Canal now teeming with fishes is the original waterway and not an installed pond as alleged on social media, Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) said today.

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2019/07/29/clean-prangin-canal-with-fishes-swimming-in-it-is-real-penang-agencies-insi/1775729

The canal was cleaned and restored with a self-sustainable ecosystem so that it will remain clean and the fish will survive as long as the public do not dump rubbish into it.

tunglang
tunglang
30 Jul 2019 1.49pm
Reply to  Anfield

This is misleading – to call it a restored canal with a hidden (covered) smelly water flow diversion & a gentrified pond is not restoration at all. This is first class DAPCAT PR exercise to trumpet its Cleaner, Greener Penang sales pitch of a snake oil man. That’s for its slippery restoration to justify the costs of a pond!

Shriek
29 Jul 2019 11.13am
Reply to  Lim Goh Poh

Tu Lang happy. Now fish can orso lim kopi o during cold day and cendol during hot day. One ton mee anytime.

Lim Goh Poh
Lim Goh Poh
26 Jul 2019 8.02am

Teh tarik @RM1.50 Premium Taiwanese Milk Bubble Tea @ RM15. So the pricing or quotation should be from right ego perspective.

tunglang
tunglang
28 Jul 2019 6.23pm

Think the heatwave was bad? Climate already hitting key tipping points Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/world/2019/07/28/think-the-heatwave-was-bad-climate-already-hitting-key-tipping-points/#At0534e0pPuw3Z4l.99 “Either we radically transform human collective life by abandoning the use of fossil fuels or, more likely, climate change will bring about the end of global fossil-fuelled capitalist civilization,” wrote U.S. author Roy Scranton, in an April essay in MIT Technology Review. “Revolution or collapse — in either case, the good life as we know it is no longer viable.” Note: The way climate changes are bringing us unprecedented heat waves never seen in the recent decades of the 20th century, we may be bracing… Read more »

Wei
Wei
29 Jul 2019 10.57am
Reply to  tunglang

to think that there is still people driving around burning fuel in gas gulping full of bing chui 4 wheel drive just to get that cheapo one ton mee served with dead marine life in it, the earth is destined to doom…it is a testimony of the greed and hypoCrazy of life in human form…..they watch the earth burns while salivating on the cheapo one ton mee and cheapo sea(life)food..they accuse the people that work hard to put thing right by solving traffic problem that is blowing out toxic gases and harm our environment as being greedy, corrupt while parading… Read more »

Anfield
Anfield
26 Jul 2019 3.43pm

GEORGE TOWN, July 26 ― The Penang government is considering proposals to build an incinerator in the state as a waste disposal solution, Penang state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo revealed today.

This contrasted with the state’s previous stance to never allow an incinerator to be built here.

Shriek
26 Jul 2019 9.12pm
Reply to  Anfield

All peng land garbage landfill where you live?
AA boss said peng land has one of the worst airport? No enough space. Go and demolish more houses. Pg forum NGOs dare not to face the fact and reality.

glissantia
glissantia
27 Jul 2019 3.38pm
Reply to  Anfield

WTE (waste to energy) is bull… – insignificant energy. They mention Sweden, Japan, etc. having “safe” incinerators, but there is no proof they do not generate many poisons incl. dioxin, lead and nano-soot. In some advanced countries, if you get a terminal disease as a result of pollution, laws permit (a) compensation (b) euthanasia. Here, your choice is to pay through the nose while undergoing torture, or jumping off a bridge.

Shriek
27 Jul 2019 7.19pm
Reply to  glissantia

Peng land kia uses a lot of material and throw a lot of rubbish. Talk is easy like throwing rubbish. But rubbish in the bins goes where when it is full.Who volunteer to accept and house the rubbish?

Anfield
Anfield
28 Jul 2019 2.42pm
Reply to  glissantia

Asian nations rejects western trash
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-htnUTN4mH0
See the myth of recycling of western nations.

Shriek
29 Jul 2019 11.15am
Reply to  Anfield

Peng lang go and collect trash. Land in peng land has many open spaces or they can pile up as high as BT bendera.

Wei
Wei
29 Jul 2019 1.33pm
Reply to  Anfield

you won’t see ang moh wannabe in the NGOs protesting at the port …they are quiet as mickey…they always speak england, that is why their save the earth, save their penang message fail to get to the general masses where no england is spoken….they make tons of noises in the fairy land tower but people on the ground can’t hear them….hehe

Hi Xing
Hi Xing
29 Jul 2019 2.23pm
Reply to  Anfield

Human right hypocrites are abound in the western world. They like democracy but has already caused damage to Iraq, Syria and Libya. Hong Kong is next on their list!

bumi non malay
26 Jul 2019 5.31am

Same reason why Tabung Haji-Felda Keeps Getting Bail Out for money leaks….$25 Billion Leaks and Thank you Rakyat with … Tax Money TO bail out 2 important Malay Muslim-Islam Pillars….Never mind the robbers…..From Now on I prefer LRT, ECRL, buy Toand Repel TOL….WHATEVER Poured into MEGA PROJECT THAT Sky Rocket than giving ONE MORE CENT TO TABUNG HAJI, FELDA, etc….Time to Benefit FROM INCOMPETENCE!!

Lim Goh Poh
Lim Goh Poh
25 Jul 2019 6.18pm

Likewise Penang street food prices keep going up like KFC n McD’s. True inflation deflating your pockets???

Anfield
Anfield
26 Jul 2019 9.02am
Reply to  Lim Goh Poh

Penang still cheap (because Ringgit is low) for foreign tourists, just watch this ang moh couple enjoying in Penang Vlog:
https://youtu.be/O050tTW8tZY

Wei
Wei
26 Jul 2019 12.45am

no problem at all with the cost…understandably it changes as the scope of the plan become clearer..between 2015 and now , a lot has changed ..it certainly doesn’t change as frequent as the number of fisherman affected by reclamation that the tree hugger told us…

furthermore it is funded by three fantastic island, that is a brilliant 2 birds 1 stoneidea…hehe

Anfield
Anfield
25 Jul 2019 4.34pm

The price of McDonald’s Malaysia meals also keep rising.

The new Portuguese chicken burger set will cost you RM17!

Ken Song
Ken Song
27 Jul 2019 11.44am
Reply to  Anfield

I rather support local hawkers than paying for such overpriced fast food. McD food not healthy since you are forced to pay for the sugary drink as part of the meal package!

BTS Mutiara
BTS Mutiara
27 Jul 2019 4.11pm
Reply to  Ken Song

Milk Bubble Tea sugar content is high, 8 spoonful of sugar per cup intake. Drink with care to avoid diabetes at young age.

Anfield
Anfield
28 Jul 2019 10.49am
Reply to  BTS Mutiara

On Thursday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, when commenting on the effects of sugary drinks such as bubble tea on public health, noted that a ministry study found that nearly one in two Malaysians are obese, and that obesity is the main risk factor for seve­ral non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

He said this in response to a study that showed that 13.3% of Malaysians are obese.

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/07/28/malaysians-told-to-change-dietary-habits/#Q9sPMg3KqFfy4F0I.99

V Ramesh
V Ramesh
28 Jul 2019 7.52pm
Reply to  Ken Song

Fully support your point. Support local hawkers not McDonalds or KFC!
Hope tunglang will agree too!

tunglang
tunglang
30 Jul 2019 2.29pm
Reply to  V Ramesh

To support local street hawker cuisine is not necessary a diehard fervour. Past experiences since the early days of global recognition of Penang street hawker food & George Town’s UNESCO heritage status have led to the opposite of what we Penangites have hoped for – affordable (not insanely priced) street food & liveable standard in George Town (GT). Commercialisation & gentrification of GT has a lot to do with street food being priced beyond affordability in the city. Increased rentals & global fame of some street food are some of the causes. (That’s why I seldom want to share online… Read more »

Zhuang Shang
Zhuang Shang
1 Aug 2019 5.06pm
Reply to  tunglang

You have first hand insiders info on Penang food so why not have your own vlog just invest in a GoPro (or use your smartphone for a start) and you can be a Penang Bourdain to highlight what to eat what to avoid. Maybe can try approach Penang Hertsge Trust Salma Khoo for collaboration?

Anfield
Anfield
4 Aug 2019 2.29pm
Reply to  Zhuang Shang

Tunglang, if become a Youtube sensation with his vlog on Penang food, can easily can sponsors for equipment like GoPro. Just look at the the success that Korean little girl.

Tunglang can provide honest review on Penang Street Food, since most recommendations on internet or Tripadvisor are biased and are likely paid by the vendors, to deceive the ignorant tourists.

Tunglang can wear a mask (like Zorro) so as not to reveal his identity. He can drive around in his 4WD, just like that Singapore Seetoh in his Vespa.

tunglang
tunglang
4 Aug 2019 11.07pm
Reply to  Anfield

🙂 🙂 🙂 The day may come when, I now pursuing my passion for our environment (including the rainforest) & am ready to share it with the world. For now, back to the hard work at the easels.

tunglang
tunglang
5 Aug 2019 12.01am
Reply to  Anfield

9I don’t drive a 4WD anymore since 8 yrs ago. My 4WD was more for recreational & hard core x-pedition into the rainforests. As one gets older, the reflexes slow down (not recommended for hill terrain hard core driving), the back spine gives painful surprises (risky to carry 30+lbs Hi-Lift Jack) & maintaining 4WD can get more expensive (one off-road MT tyre can set you back Rm400+, spare parts cost almost twice since the advent of GST, no helping with SST which PH cannot U-turn like Lynas). I hike & trek on foot nowadays & this way albeit slow I… Read more »

tunglang
tunglang
4 Aug 2019 10.59pm
Reply to  Zhuang Shang

Thanks for suggesting but I have more important things to fulfil.
How many more years can one live if not yet realised my #1 dream?

Anfield
Anfield
8 Aug 2019 11.33am
Reply to  tunglang

Having a blog or vlog on Penang street food should be on your bucket list. Do not waste your talent. We need genuine food reviewer instead of the biased tripadvisor recommendations or FB likes that are heavily manipulated. Do it as a favour to those unsung Penang street food maestros (a term coined by you), not the likes of “Two Sisters” charging premium price for ordinary food.

Shriek
25 Jul 2019 7.25pm

Half crow is a consultant not quantity surveyor or contractor. Show us which public project runs below cost. Ask any gomen include overseas.