GEORGE TOWN, June 12 — The Penang state government welcomes open discourse on the projects it implements including the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
He was responding to the Penang Forum’s article titled ‘Call for review of mega project: Penang Transport Master Plan’ dated June 7, which had called on the Pakatan Harapan (PH) state government to review the project in line with the coalition’s pledge to re-examine mega projects in the country.
He said in a statement today that there were misleading statements found in the Penang Forum’s article.
“When Tun Daim Zainuddin and the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) began reviewing mega infrastructure projects such as the East Coast Rail Link and Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail to determine their benefits to the rakyat (people), it was in the context of using large sums of public funds to finance such mega projects and whether there would be a positive return to our nation and rakyat,” he said.
Chow said this was clearly different for the major components in PTMP, being the Bayan Lepas LRT and the Pan Island Link (PIL) expressway, as both these key infrastructure projects would be fully funded by the revenue generated from the sale of land reclamation of the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.
He said the fully funded nature of the LRT and PIL of the PTMP was unlike any other mega infrastructure projects that were being critically reviewed by the CEP.
Chow said the state has taken a highly balanced approach to ensure all stakeholders of Penang benefit in the implementation of the PTMP and the PSR project.
“Most importantly, public coffers would not be unduly burdened by the project and the rakyat would receive crucial transport infrastructure in the form of both the Bayan Lepas LRT and the PIL within several years,” he said.
PTMP is a state-initiated project costing an estimated RM46 billion which features an undersea tunnel linking the island to the mainland, highways, LRT, monorail as well as extensive bus connectivity on both the island and the mainland. — Bernama