CM says will review Penang reclamation project if Putrajaya funds LRT for state

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks to the press at Komtar in George Town June 17, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks to the press at Komtar in George Town June 17, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, June 17 — The Penang government will relook the scale of its proposed south reclamation project if the federal government helps fund part of its transport master plan.

State Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said his administration will not cancel the Penang South Reclamation (PSR), but is willing to review the project which it came up with to inject funds into the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

“Equally important is the land created for future development but with funding from the federal government, we can review the scale of PSR,” he said.

He said public transport is under the federal government’s jurisdiction so it is only natural for it to fund the Light Rail Transit (LRT) component of the PTMP.

He pointed out that Putrajaya is already supporting various rail projects in the Klang Valley.

He welcomed Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s statement yesterday that the ministry will consider funding parts of PTMP.

Chow said the state is yet to submit an application for funding from Putrajaya as the LRT is still pending approval from Land Public Transport Agency.

“Now that we are moving much closer to obtaining an approval, we welcome Lim’s comments that the federal may consider funding the project,” he said.

He said the federal funding will not be the full lump sum of RM8.4 billion for the project in one payment.

“It will probably be disbursed over five to seven years at between RM1 billion to RM2 billion per year so it will not be a huge burden on the federal government is funding will be spread out,” he said.

He said Lim has said that the ministry can consider a progressive funding plan for the project.

On PSR, Chow said the state may consider reviewing the scale of the project, which is currently to reclaim 4,500 acres of lands in three islands, if Putrajaya also funds the RM7.5 billion Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1).

PIL1 is another major component of the PTMP.

“The total land to be reclaimed can be reviewed if the federal government funds PIL1 too,” he said.

However, this does not mean PSR will be cancelled as the state still needed the land bank it will create.

“We still needed the extra land to expand our electronics and electrical sector which is important for the state’s development,” he said.

It was proposed that island A, out of the three proposed man-made islands of PSR, will be an industrial part while island B will be for high-end support services for the industrial park.