QUESTION TIME : RM46 billion PTMP is a risky undertaking that must be reviewed

SRS Consortium and State government meeting in Komtar to finalise PTMP.

– P Gunasegaram, Malaysians Kini, 1 Nov. 2019

The RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), expected to span 30 years, is a major risk, whichever way one looks at it because there are way too many imponderables and assumptions made – which may impact the viability of the project further down the road.

The entire project hinges heavily on the reclamation of three islands. The Penang state government says that the land reclaimed – islands A, B, and C – will have a sale value of RM70 billion for 1,800 hectares (about 4,448 acres). However, cost breakdowns and timelines are not available.

The other thing is the high cost of the projects, with activist groups claiming that many of the highways and other links involved in the project may not be needed. If these are scrapped, the cost could be much lower.

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Op-Ed: PIL 1, THE STRAW TO BREAK PENANG’S BACK?

Penang CM selling PIL1

By Eric Cheah  August 7, 2019,  www.freemalaysiatoday.com 

When Yeo Bee Yin, the minister in charge of the environment, praised the Penang government for making the state the first to eliminate plastic straws during a town hall meeting on the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL 1) on Sept 20, 2018, civil society cringed.

Why ban plastic straws when they are pushing for a monstrous six-lane highway which is three storeys tall and 72ft wide and which will plough through the spine of the island?

It will plough through all three fault line zones of the island located in the sensitive Penang Hill and Paya Terubong hills, according to the environmental impact assessment (EIA).

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AnakPinang: A star is born in the Penang NGO firmament

Timothy Tye Penang blogger

Penang Citizens’ Organizations Raise AnakPinang One by One to Speak for the People

Penang has long been the base of many civic organizations, and now there is another rise of AnakPinang, which is known as the ordinary people.

The organization was founded in October and currently has 15 members, slogans in the local civic organization with the slogan “For a Better Penang”.

The promoter is Timothy Tye, who said that because no civic organization speaks on behalf of ordinary people, especially on the topic of the blueprint for transportation in Penang, it is one of the reasons for the AnakPinang organization.

The multi-billion ringgit integrated transport blueprint designed to relieve traffic hindered by the Penang State Government Cypriot problem, once implemented will be phased in gradually implemented.

However, the plan has led to a fierce rebound from a number of NGOs, including the Penang Forum, the Penang Consumers Association, the Friends of Nature Malaysia, and the Malaysian Nature Association Penang Branch.

Timothy Tye has a different opinion. He told The Perspective of Malaysia that these organizations are out of touch with the local people in Penang who have to face long-term obstruction every day.

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Penang Ferry Service: 1894-present

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Before the Penang Bridge put the ferry in the shade, the ferry service was the only means of transporting people, bicycles and motor vehicles between the mainland and the island.

The iconic ferry service of Penang has a long history where it first started to take root in its most basic form sometime between 1893 and 1894. The inaugural regular service was initiated by a local entrepreneur, Quah Beng Kee.

The ferry service lost its prominence on Aug 3, 1985 when the Penang Bridge was officially opened by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his capacity as the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The ferry service, the most cherished and well-known icon of Penang that used to be a bustling necessity of life, has in some strange ways, been reduced to a quaint tourist attraction.

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Today: Penang Rapid Ferry Service  –   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid_Ferry

Penang Rapid Ferry terminal

Rapid Ferry’s Pulau Undan ferry at the Butterworth ferry terminal in Penang, Malaysia

From WP entry at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid_Ferry

Rapid Ferry is a shuttle ferry service within the State of PenangMalaysia, connecting the city of George Town on Penang Island and Butterworth on the mainland. This cross-strait transit has been operational since 1894, making it the oldest ferry service in Malaysia.[1] Its fleet of six ferries carries both passengers and automobiles across the Penang Strait daily; each roll-on/roll-off ferry could accommodate cars either on its lower deck or on both decks.[2]

The first cross-strait ferry service between Penang Island and the mainland began in 1894.[1] Originally a passenger-only service, the ferries were later refitted to carry automobiles in 1925. From 1924, the ferries were operated by the Penang Port Commission (formerly Penang Harbour Board), through its subsidiary, Penang Port Sdn Bhd.

In 2017, the Malaysian federal government began transferring the ferry service from Penang Port Sdn Bhd to Prasarana Malaysia, a government-owned entity which manages urban public transportation across Malaysia.[2][3][4] Following the handover, the ferry service has been rebranded as Rapid Ferry.

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Now what?

 

HOW CAN YOU PLAN FOR THE FUTURE IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND YOUR PAST?

Penang George Town 1960s

For our international readers: a quick history primer on George Town and transport in Penang. To get you started and just in case.)

Also:

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About the author:

Eric Britton
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France

Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, mediator and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | http://bit.ly/2Ti8LsX | #fekbritton | https://twitter.com/ericbritton | and | https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericbritton/ Contact: climate@newmobility.org) | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)

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MORE HIGHWAYS, MORE CARS, MORE CONGESTION, MORE EMISSIONS, MORE DEBT, MORE WAITING . . . Lessons from the learned

Penang aerial photo of highly devloped road system - from Joshua Woo

Aerial photo taken from above article by Mr. Joshua Woo.

Commentary of  Assoc Prof Ahmad Hilmy Abdul Hamid from the School of Housing, Building and Planning,of the  Universiti Sains Malaysia. (See bio note below and list of scholarly publications)  — commenting  on a letter to the editor by Mr. Joshua Woo Sze Seng that appeared in the Star newspaper  last week on 28 May on the topic,  More Highways, More Cars?:

MALAYSIANS are very lucky to have freedom of expression. Anyone can write anything in the newspaper or social media, barring of course things that insult the fabric of our harmonious society.

Unfortunately, this same freedom also allows opinions to be shared by people who might be clueless as to how things work in certain areas.  Yet, these people appear as if they are an authority on the subject just because they are passionate in their beliefs or they happen to shout louder than most.

When Mr. Joshua Woo wrote as an opinion piece  in the Star newspaper  last week on 2 May,  More Highways, More Cars?:   He opens with the following challenge statement:

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QUESTIONS OVER PENANG’S RM46B MEGA TRANSPORT MASTER PLAN

Penan CM Chow overlooking Penang

– By P. Gunasegaram . Penang, 2 May 2019.  https://m.malaysiakini.com/columns/474516

QUESTION TIME | Another mega-project which is in the process of being finalised after the RM44 billion East Coast Rail Link and the RM140 billion development value Bandar Malaysia is the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

As with the earlier two projects mentioned, there are a number of vital questions that remain unanswered over PTMP’s projects and the massive land reclamation project, reportedly worth an eye-popping RM70 billion (subsequently denied) to finance them. There is no clarity on how it will be undertaken, while there is a strong China element to this project as well, with a China firm being one of the beneficiaries of a major contract, as we shall see.

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