Penang Forum raises concerns over state Transport Master Plan

Penang Forum steering committee Dr Lim Mah Hui and Khoo Salma Nasution after the briefing session with the CEP.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Penang state government should engage an independent global agency to review mega infrastructure projects in the state including the proposed Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), said Penang Forum.  

In raising the matter to the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) on Friday (June 22), Penang Forum's steering committee member Dr Lim Mah Hui said the forum was of the opinion that the PTMP was not viable due to its high costs and impact on the environment.  

"We feel that present version (of the plan) is a bit too expensive and may not meet the objectives of solving Penang's transportation problems.  

"We are calling for an independent global body to assess the present proposed master plan such as the Institute for Transport and Development Policy and the World Bank," he told reporters after the meeting at Ilham Tower here.  

Among the proposed mega projects in the pipeline include the RM6.43bil undersea tunnel and three paired roads, Light Rail Transit and Penang Southern Reclamation and Sky Cab.  

Lim said instead of constructing the undersea tunnel, upgrading the ferry services would be a better way to deal with the cross channel traffic issues.  

Lim's colleague Khoo Salma Nasution, who was also present, said Penang needed a paradigm shift to transform urban mobility, instead of constructing mega projects to deal with traffic problems.  

"We are all for public transportation but it need not be mega projects. It should be a comprehensive system which is seamless and accessible to all," she added.  

Penang Forum is an NGO of the civil society which, among others, aimed at promoting sustainable planning and development, economic justice, heritage conservation and environment consciousness. - Bernama

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