PM: Penang tunnel project a waste of public funds


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 10 Feb 2018

An artist's impression of the Penang undersea tunnel.

PETALING JAYA: Penang has no need for an undersea tunnel as there are two bridges connecting the island to the mainland, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said the project would be a waste of public funds.

“We already have two bridges in Penang.

“There is no need to waste the rakyat’s money to build the undersea tunnel,” read part of Najib’s blog entry yesterday in www.najibrazak.com.

Separately, Barisan Nasional strategic communications deputy director Datuk Eric See-To disputed DAP’s accusations that Barisan was sabotaging and causing delays to the mega project of three main roads and an undersea tunnel – and hence, depriving the Penang people of a solution to solve their traffic congestion.

“Actually, the major NGOs, residents’ groups and activists are all against this project.

“Groups such as Consumer Association of Penang, Penang Forum; Sahabat Alam Malaysia and Aliran have always said that this project is overpriced, forced through by the Penang government without proper public consultation and will not solve traffic congestion,” said See-To in a recent Facebook entry last week.

He included three links to statements made by three different groups which raised concerns and objection to the mega project.

“In fact, the supposed main beneficiaries of the first road – the 10.5km Tanjung Bungah and Teluk Bahang road – which are the Tanjung Bungah residents, do no even want that road,” added See-To.

He said the Tanjung Bungah residents’ associations had collected 400 signatures to oppose the road, saying that it would be an environmental disaster, and there was no proper public consultation exercise.

A third reason was that the road would be dangerous as it will be built on steep hillsides, said See-To.

“The residents’ association also said the road that now cost more than RM1.1bil in order to save 11 to 14 minutes out of the 20 minutes travelling time now is not justified but will in fact make traffic worse due to new bottlenecks.

“Despite so many strong objections to the three roads and tunnel project over so many years, the NGOs and the people of Penang are puzzled as to why the state government insists on arrogantly pushing through this RM6.34bil mega project and vigorously defends it whenever it is being questioned,” said See-To.

He added that for last year, the capacity utilisation for the first Penang Bridge was 87% while the second Penang Bridge was only about 50%.

“Therefore, there is still ample existing capacity to cater for traffic between the island and the mainland,” he said.

 

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