GEORGE TOWN: An application for any infrastructure such as a third bridge linking Penang to the mainland should be free from political rhetoric, said Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
“Using terms like anasir-anasir jahat (evil elements) aren’t helping much and such words are not typically found in an application letter for a major infrastructure.
“The ministry commits to conducting a fair evaluation of the proposal for a third bridge and we seek the cooperation of the Penang government to share with us the relevant documentation so that we are able to make an informed decision.
“It is against the standard practice of the Federal Government to approve a multi-billion ringgit project without documentation, even if it is to be paid for by other sources such as private financing or by the state government itself,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Fadhillah added that the Penang government should include the almost-completed RM305mil feasibility study and detailed design studies commissioned and paid for by the state government for the undersea tunnel project and associated linked roads to help the Federal Government arrive at a decision.
He was commenting on Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s letter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak seeking approval for the third bridge.
Fadillah said introducing a third link might significantly alter the dynamics of the traffic flow in the Federal and state road systems.
“Therefore, the resulting traffic dispersal flow must be studied in detail and submitted as a part of the process. We do not want to worsen the already heavy traffic conditions on the island.
“In addition, studies will need to be made to ascertain the impact a third bridge could have on shipping and aircraft operations,” he said, adding that the ministry was looking forward to working together with the state government to determine the feasibility and timing of the third link in a professional manner.
Fadillah also urged the state government to submit future applications for infrastructure directly to the Works Ministry.