GEORGE TOWN, Jan 11 ― Several planned large-scale infrastructure projects in Penang will finally be implemented this year, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said today.

He said the state is committed to continuing with infrastructure projects that will benefit the people of Penang.

“The state will ensure the realisation of various planned projects including construction, upgrading of roads including bridges, drainage and irrigation and flood mitigation projects,” he said in his first civil service assembly to be held in two years since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

He cited the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway-Air Itam bypass as one of the large-scale projects that is now under construction and is expected to be completed by January 2025.

“This package two project under the Penang Transport Master Plan initiative will connect road users to the Bukit Kukus dual carriageway that is expected to open to traffic later this week,” he said.

The RM851 million Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway-Air Itam bypass, which stretches 6km, is currently 8 per cent built.

Chow said the implementation of these high-impact projects will need the close cooperation of all parties so that any arising issues can be resolved immediately.

He reminded the civil servants to play their role responsibly, especially in relaying important information on these projects.

He also called on all agencies, departments and government-linked corporations to focus on stakeholders' involvement when implementing any project or programmes.

“We must also focus on the digitalisation process in government procedures to achieve the smart city aim,” he said.

Chow also mentioned the state's readiness to face the climate change crisis especially in terms of floods that hit many states in Malaysia.

He said the state had outlined disaster management strategies through its state policies, preparedness in facing any potential disaster, an emergency action plan to mobilise all related agencies and bodies and finally disaster recovery plan that involved channelling assistance to those affected.

He said there are now over 100,000 active volunteers and permanent personnel at the Civil Defence Department (APM) in Penang.

He hoped the APM will continue to be strengthened and fully equipped to be on standby to face any disasters including floods.