GEORGE TOWN: A PKR state rep who used Facebook Live Video to question the cost of the proposed Komtar-Bayan Lepas LRT has publicly apologised.
“I apologise for posting on Facebook a question that I wanted to ask SRS Consortium at the Penang Transport Council meeting.
“I posted the question because the main company in that consortium also built the Kajang-Sungai Buloh MRT.
“I also wanted to ask about the detailed environmental impact assessment report,” Penanti rep Dr Norlela Ariffin said in a text message to the press.
She, however, did not comment on mentioning that the Komtar-Bayan Lepas LRT would be RM27bil, which according to state exco member Chow Kon Yeow, would only be RM8.4bil.
Dr Norlela said Chow, who is also Penang Transport Council chairman, had since informed her of the estimated cost which she had updated in her posting.
“I always post questions, issues and requests that I raise in the assembly and government meetings,” she added.
On Tuesday, Dr Norlela took her first ride on the 51km MRT and went live on Facebook Video nine times to share her experience with her friends and followers, totalling about 8,000 people.
Shortly after her train left Kajang station, she said while recording: “I am going to ask why Penang can’t have an MRT. Why an LRT that cost RM27bil while this MRT, Kajang to Sungai Buloh, costs RM21bil for 51km, 31 stations, seven interchange stations and seven stations underground. How come this MRT is so much cheaper?
“Our LRT, we have to reclaim 1,800ha of the sea and borrow RM1bil from China Exim Bank.
“At the end of the day, we do all that just for one LRT line from Komtar to Bayan Lepas. For all that, for what?”
Chow issued a statement a few hours after the videos were uploaded to clarify that the Komtar-Bayan Lepas LRT plan was estimated to cost RM8.4bil, subject to detailed engineering design and open tenders were completed pending federal approval.
He said the RM27bil in Dr Norlela’s question was the projected cost of the Penang Transport Master Plan at the conceptual stage in 2011.
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