OP-ED: Penang needs a new economic vision that sustains people and environment

penang forum citizen meeting ngo - Copy

Penang Forum citizen meeting, with NGOs

Penang needs to use this opportunity of New Malaysia to shift to New that is more strategic, measured and successful in benefits realisation for its people, environment through its policies. Creative innovation needs to be the central driver in policy making and implementation area. This requires Penang government to restructure its state civil service to be more lean and efficient and integrated with more innovative players in the economy such as NGOs, applied research sector and private sector. Politicians are also at a very timely juncture to assess the performance of civil servants at senior and mid levels and put in place the necessary teams for the next and final lap.

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Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit Project – Environmental Impact Assessment Report

Volumes 1 to 3 now available after a considerable delay  for public inspection, review and comment

WHAT IS THIS?

We have just received from a concerned NGO, who prefers to remain anonymous, a full set of copies of the three massive SRS volumes submitted for public scrutiny, reflection  and comment under the title  “Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit project – Environmental Impact Assessment report”. We are grateful for this democratic collegial gesture and are most pleased to share it widely in Penang and beyond. These are important documents for citizen review and active participation, and need to be made widely and freely available to all. The URLs for the three volumes will be found immediately below.

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New reports for Sustainable Penang Open Transport Library

Full and open access to key documents and reports necessary for full public, NGO, media and international expert review, questions and commentary on the costs, technical details, analysis and justifications for the RM27-50  billion (it apparently depends on whom you ask and when) Penang Transport Master Plan has been seriously inhibited by the State government and their property development consultants and partners (SRS Consortium).

In the face of this resistance an informal citizen alliance and NGO task force has emerged and started to assemble and make freely available a growing library of key documents. At present there are more than 200 volumes and working papers already assembled in the library at https://goo.gl/xjCRT9.

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SUSTAINABLE PENANG WHATSAPP AS A CROWD RESEARCH TOOL

Dear friends, we have a wonderful resource here with Whatsapp Sustainable Penang in the form of a searchable database of all of our exchanges since the generous creation of this great collaborative tool by no less than the formidable Engineer Lim Thean Heng all the way back there on December 14, 2015.

Just in case you didn’t notice it the transcript of all of these conversations which I have collected and inspected in searchable form run for more than half a million words of what . . . Not just idle chat, but rather the exchanges of a conserved citizenry about the sustainability challenges of Penang in all its dimensions, including of course the running battle of the Penang Transport Master Plan .

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Come out and claim the road – by Sunita Narain

Sunita Narain,  Centre for Science and Environment, Dehli

I write this column from my bed, recovering from an accident that broke my bones. I was hit by a speeding car when cycling. The car fled the scene, leaving me bleeding on the road. This is what happens again and again, in every city of our country, on every road as we plan without care for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. These are the invisible users. They die doing nothing more than the most ordinary thing like crossing a road. I was more fortunate. Two cars stopped, strangers helped me and took me to hospital. I got treatment. I will be back fighting fit.

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Mission Statement: Toward a New Mobility Agenda

Say good-bye to Old Mobility

“Old Mobility” – with its drumbeat stress on steadily increasing supply, more
vehicles, higher speeds, longer distances and more infrastructure as the auto-pilot, unexamined  answer to our city mobility problems — has been the favored path for decision-making and investment in the sector over the last 70 years. It is well-known and easy to see where it is leading.  Aggressing the planet, costing us a bundle, draining the world’s petroleum reserves, and delivering poor service for the transport majority.  It’s time to learn from the best of the rest, the several hundred cities, many of them in Europe, that are showing the way for the rest.

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