GEORGE TOWN, June 17 — Penang today offered to construct the light rail transit (LRT) long promised by Putrajaya if the federal government is not prepared to do so.
In a letter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Penang administration only needed a permit to operate its own transportation system before it could proceed.
“If the federal government is not ready to implement the promised LRT or monorail project in Penang, the state government is prepared to take over by implementing an integrated public transportation system here even though we are short of funding,” he said in his letter to Najib dated May 28.
Lim explained the permit was necessary to empower the state to appoint a tram system operator to immediately implement the mode of transport.
The Bagan MP told Najib that the state administration is also willing to cooperate and discuss with the federal government, specifically the Transport Ministry, to come up with an alternative public transport system for Penang.
He voiced his readiness to meet with Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on the issue of allowing Penang to have licence for a public transportation system in the state.
Putrajaya first promised to build a monorail system in Penang in 2007, months before the 2008 general election.
In late 2012, Najib made a pledge to build a monorail system in Penang as part of Barisan Nasional’s 2013 general election promises.