PENANG TRANSPORT COUNCIL –  THIS MORNING SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY HAPPENED. 

What happens when you click http//:ptc.penang.gov.my ?

After:  (28 March 2016)

penang official website of  state mufti department - large

Before: (27 March 2016)

PTC top page

We have for the last several days been exchanging ideas, critical views and information in our Sustainable Penang Open Forum on this potentially most important building block for public policy and implementation decisions in the transport sector to give more force and presence to the information, expertise and views of civil society in Penang

THEN THIS MORNING SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY HAPPENED.

Some person or persons, perhaps disturbed by the vigorous open public discussions of the reality behind the PTC, decided to reach into the original PTC site which for years has slept peacefully at ptc.penang.gov.my — and redirect it to THE PULAU PINANG MUFTI AND FATWA DEPARTMENT. Please try it for ourselves and share with us your reactions.

For those from abroad who may not be familiar with the Mufti and Ftwa department, it describes itself as:

Committed in making Penang State Mufti Department as a competent institution and upholding Islamic affairs.

Propel excellence in management of advisory affairs, fatwa, astronomy, information technology and human resource in the Penang State Mufti Department

If this has been done on purpose – and I cannot imagine anything else given the fact that the PTC site has been sound asleep at ptc.penang.gov.my for more than half a decade. Until this morning that is.

Fortunately, the net is a large, commodious place and for some of us disturbing place, so if you want to see how it looked like before the clever should reroute the PTC site, all you have to do is click to https://goo.gl/f85WUY and take it from there.

Who would do this and why? 

To conclude for now, the lesson that I as a distant but concerned foreigner am taking from this, is the deep roots of democracy lie in the active participation of civil society in all its varieties and forms.

For the record, here is how we described the mission of our Open Society Sustainability Initiative when first getting underway back in 1995. — http://www.ecoplan.org/ — “A thorn in the side of hesitant administrators, politicians and businessmen in denial”. Apparently not much has changed since

I very much welcome your comments and analysis. And then once we have absorbed this shock, what about your ideas as to how to pump real life, independence and utility into what for now at least gives every appearance of being an empty shell.

# # #

Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Britton is an American political scientist and sustainability activist who has lived and worked in Paris since 1969. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets, his latest book, "BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Transport to Your City" focuses on the subject of environment, equity, economy and efficiency in city transport and public space, and helping governments to ask the right questions. A pre-publication edition of Better Choices is currently undergoing an international peer review during Sept.- Oct. 2017, with the goal of publication in English and Chinese editions by end-year. If you wish to participate drop a line to BetterChoices@ecoplan.org .

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