Penang may issue RM10bil bond for Bayan Lepas LRT project


GEORGE TOWN: The state government is looking at issuing a RM10bil bond to fund the Bayan Lepas light rail transit (LRT) project.

But Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said this was not an alternative to the Penang South Reclamation (PSR), which will go on as planned.“The idea to issue bonds was proposed by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he replied to our request for RM10bil in funding for the LRT project.

“A special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be set up and we are in talks with a consortium of banks for

the issuance of the bonds, which would be guaranteed by the Federal Government.

“However, we would still prefer a grant from the government as a loan or bond would have to be re-paid and the state will still pursue getting funding for the LRT in the 12th Malaysia Plan.

“The PSR will go on as planned as the focus is on the south of the island, which is underdeveloped compared to the north and north-east parts, ” Chow said in reply to Jason Ong (PH-Kebun Bunga) at the state assembly sitting yesterday.

Ong had asked if the state would go ahead with the PSR since it had requested RM10bil from the government.

He also wanted to know why the state was embarking on the PSR when there were more pressing issues such as urban poverty.

To another question by Lee Khai Loon (PH-Machang Bubok) on whether the PSR would be scaled down with the proposed issuance of bonds, Chow said it was not a “free scheme”.“Someone’s got to pay for it and in this case, the onus is on us. As such, the PSR would be the best model to pay for the LRT, Penang Island Link 1 (PIL1) and other infrastructure projects, ” he said.

Chow told reporters later that if the loan was guaranteed by the government, it could be obtained with lower interest.

“With the guarantee, we will be eligible for a grading triple A and are presently working on the mechanisms as we received the letter on Oct 15, ” he said.

The state embarked on the controversial PSR model, which involves reclaiming three islands of 1,821ha in the south, to finance the RM46bil Penang Transport Master Plan, of which the RM8.5bil LRT and RM7.5bil PIL1 are components.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!
   

Next In Nation

Budget 2023: Large allocation for infrastructure, education must continue for Sabah, S'wak
Budget 2023: Semporna's island residents want water woes resolved
MACC concerned by rise in number of women nabbed for corruption, says Azam
Covid-19: M'sia detects 1,360 new cases, total now at 4,843,865
Malaysia ready to offer aviation training opportunities to Senegal, says Dr Wee
Many against holding GE15 during monsoon season, claims Selangor MB
Economic challenges, floods in focus as Parliament resumes
JKR closes part of Bagan Lalang road after sinkhole appears
INTERACTIVE: With GE15 imminent, here are all the laws passed by Malaysia’s 14th Parliament so far
The International 2022: Huge prize pool, top teams, and three M'sian players to watch

Others Also Read