GEORGE TOWN: There is no easy way to handle the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) as the Federal Government is responsible for coming out with an alternative model if the state’s proposal is rejected, says Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
“The Federal Government is responsible regardless of whether it accepts or rejects the state’s recommendation,” he said.
“If they accept, they will have to find the funds to support the project, and if they reject, they will have to suggest an alternative model to alleviate the traffic congestion in Penang.”
Chow was answering a query by Lee Khai Loon (PH-Machang Bubuk), who asked if the state was called by the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) to present the proposed plan and explain the issues involved.
Lee said this was because a number of non-governmental organisations had met the CEP on the PTMP.
Chow said the state was not officially called to present the PTMP, although he was aware of the council meeting the NGOs.
“However, the CEP has met certain heads of federal bodies involved in the project and preliminary approvals for PTMP have been moving more speedily now.
“We have been patient for the last three years under the previous government, as whatever the outcome, Penang is regarded as an important economic state and I am confident our funding model for the project would be approved,” he said.
It was reported that the Penang government was mulling a RM1bil soft loan from the Federal Government to start the PTMP.
Meanwhile, the state government will present the Congestion Alleviation Transport (CAT) bus service model to the National Transport Council (NTC) to be implemented nationwide.
Chow said the CAT service implemented in Penang on April 1 had been highly successful.
“We are proposing that the service be implemented in all states as part of their public transport plan.
“There will be further improvements to the feeder bus service to ensure optimum use,” Chow said during his winding-up speech at the state assembly.
On the bringing the CAT service to villages, Chow said talks were held with the Transport Ministry but they were unsuccessful.