GEORGE TOWN: A year overdue, the new Penang Hill multi-storey car park — once dubbed the “Kancil” car park — is finally open, but not without a glitch. One of the lifts stalled, leaving 12 reporters and state officials trapped for several minutes.
The lift from the ground floor stopped with a thud before it reached the first floor.
One of the officials pressed the alarm button but no one responded.
He then pried open a narrow gap in the lift door and shouted for assistance.
When someone came, the official told the person to go to the circuit box and turn the power supply back on.
Some three minutes later, the lift door closed, and the occupants continued the ride until the seventh floor.
Later, Penang Development Corporation (PDC) general manager Datuk Rosli Jaafar told reporters that the incident was due to a power trip, and it was rectified immediately.
The eight-storey car park was officially opened yesterday by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who said the ample parking bays were expected to draw more visitors to the hill.
In his speech, Lim said the number of visitors to Penang Hill rose from 1,233,556 in 2013 to 1,364,074 last year.
“It is an increase of about 11%. We expect more visitors with the opening of the car park,” he added.
Lim said the car park was opened to the public on Jan 15, the day it obtained its Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC).
The building has 310 parking bays, including five for the physically challenged and 182 lots for motorcycles.
There is also a commercial area on the ground floor that includes 11 stalls, a food court and a bus lay-by.
The Penang Hill car park building was rebuilt following the failure of the original building, completed in March 2011, to secure a CCC due to its poor design that included steep ramps and parking bays said to be suitable only for Perodua Kancil cars.
The new car park was ready after close to a year’s delay, and a RM210,000 fine for its contractor. The rebuilding, completed on Nov 7, had been scheduled to finish on Nov 25, 2013.
PDC Consultancy director Ng Wei Aik had said the project was awarded to Yuan Seng Building Trading Sdn Bhd on Nov 26, 2012, with a contract value of RM11,491,073.90.
Also present at the ceremony were Lim’s wife Betty Chew, state executive councillors Chow Kon Yeow and Dr Afif Bahardin, MPs and state assemblymen.
The parking rate for the first hour is RM2 and RM1 for every subsequent hour.
The season parking rate is RM120 per month. Motorcyclists can park for free.
The car park is open from 6am to midnight daily.