A great wealth of useful information on this troubled and highly divisive PTMP program, coming from a wide variety of sources and reflecting sharply differing views of the sources, reporters and contributors.

Direct: link:

Continue reading



Penang monorail 2
PTMP Monorail proposal: Burma Road

Op-Ed by Councillor, Dr. Chee Heng Leng, City Council of Penang Island,  appearing in The Star Online, 14 Aug. 2017. He refers to Nicholas Theng’s letter “Let rational minds prevail” (The Star, Aug 9).

Theng argues, first of all, that because the federal Barisan Nasional government refused to build any monorails or LRTs in Penang for the last 10 years, Penangites developed a deep-rooted preference for, and habit of, relying on cars, and that it will take time for them to change. Reasoning that since the LRT (from Komtar to Bayan Lepas) will take seven years to build, and giving one year for people to adapt, he concludes that this will mean another eight years of traffic congestion, and therefore the construction of strategic bypasses (presumably including highways) and public transport is necessary.

Theng’s argument contains assumptions but he is right to pinpoint time as a crucial factor in dealing with our transport problems. He neglects to point out, however, that highways and “strategic bypasses”, not just LRTs, also take a long time to build. The Pan-Island Expressway 1 (PIL1), which is currently under public scrutiny, will also take between five and seven years to build, perhaps even more as the risk of delay is certainly high with 10.1km of its 19.5km under tunnels and much of the rest on viaducts.

Continue reading

Op-Ed. Protesters rally in Penang against exorbitant RM46bn transport proposal

Penang Malaysia PTMP protest

About a hundred concerned Penangites gathered peacefully outside the Penang State Assembly this morning to call for an an independent review of SRS Consortium’s outlandish RM46bn transport proposal, which critics have derided as a ‘property play’.

Under the proposal, an RM8bn six-lane highway will eventually link high-end property development on reclaimed land opposite Gurney Plaza off Gurney Drive to more high-end development on three artificial islands in southern Penang Island. Under phase one of the highway, it ends not far from even more high-end property development on reclaimed land now under construction off the coast of southeastern Penang Island.

The multi-ethnic crowd of protesters this morning included concerned residents, academics, environmentalists, park-lovers, advocates of the fishing communities and the marine ecology, representatives of various residents associations and activists.

Continue reading

Op-Ed. Why bulldoze through Penang undersea tunnel project?


This is the fourth article in a series to explain why the Penang state government should get an independent review of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP). Ahmad Hilmy & Lim Mah Hui  |  Published: 6 Aug 2018.

ANALYSIS | Why does Penang need to rush to have the 7.2km undersea tunnel project when the original Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) officially adopted by the state government clearly states that it is not an urgent priority?

Why this haste when the survey of Penang’s traffic volume by UK-based engineering consultant Halcrow showed that cross-channel traffic in 2011 accounted for only 7 percent of total state traffic during peak hours?

Continue reading

Op.Ed. Why bulldoze through the Penang tunnel project?

The original Penang Transport Master Plan clearly states that the undersea tunnel project is not an urgent priority.

August 1 — This is the third article in a series to explain why the Penang government should review the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP). – By Dr Ahmad Hilmy, and Dr Lim Mah Hui .

Why does Penang need to rush for the 7.2 km undersea tunnel project when the original Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) officially adopted by the state government clearly states that it is not an urgent priority? Why this haste when the survey of Penang’s traffic volume by UK-based engineering consultant Halcrow showed that cross-channel traffic in 2011 accounted for only 7% of total state traffic during peak hours?

The first draft by Halcrow that was presented sometime at the end of 2012 to the Penang Transport Council showed the undersea tunnel may only be needed towards 2030. However, for some unknown reason, in the final draft in 2013, Halcrow was pushed to bring the date forward to 2025.

Continue reading

Op-Ed. Has Penang Island’s growth become a hazard to life?

        – By Keith Schneider, 26 July 2018. Mongabay Series: 
Malaysia’s Penang Island has undergone massive development since the 1960s, a process that continues today with plans for transit and land-reclamation megaprojects. The island is increasingly facing floods and landslides, problems environmentalists link to paving land and building on steep slopes.
GEORGE TOWN, Malaysia — Muddy carpets and soaked furniture lay in moldering piles on the streets of this state capital. It was Sunday morning, Oct. 29, 2017. Eight days earlier, torrents of water had poured off the steep slopes of the island’s central mountain range. Flash floods ripped through neighborhoods. A landslide killed 11 workers at a construction site for a high-rise apartment tower, burying them in mud. It was Penang Island’s second catastrophic deluge in five weeks.

Continue reading


     CORE PROBLEM – Lots of SOVs and little else

How SRS Penang Transport Master Plan deviates from original Halcrow recommendations

JULY 25 — This is the second article in a series to explain why the Penang government should review the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP). – By Dr Ahmad Hilmy, and Dr Lim Mah Hui . Orignal article appeared at…/how-srs-penang-transport-master…

Not many people realise how far distorted the current version of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), undertaken by a Gamuda-led corporate consortium, is from the original PTMP adopted by the Penang government in March 2013.

The original, prepared by renowned UK-based engineering consultant Halcrow, aims for a holistic approach to solving Penang’s mobility and transport problems, adopting a paradigm shiftby moving people — not cars. It aims to make roads safe and user-friendly for all, especially pedestrians, cyclists and the physically disadvantaged.

Continue reading