GEORGE TOWN, June 1 — The state government will continue with its proposed cable car project for Penang Hill despite the cancellation of a RM100 million allocation by Putrajaya, the state legislative assembly heard today.

Penang transport and infrastructure committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the state government has decided to proceed by calling for a request for proposal (RFP), after the federal government announced its decision to withdraw funding.

“The RFP is to partner with the private sector to implement it by way of joint venture (JV) or Build-Finance-Operate-Transfer (BFOT),” he said in reply to a question by Lim Guan Eng (DAP- Air Putih).

He thanked Lim for approving the RM100 allocation when the latter had been the finance minister but said the latter’s decision was reversed by the new government.

Lim then asked for the project’s estimated cost, attached liabilities, viability to be privately built and operated, and for the proposed business model.

Zairil said the state will consider various options from those submitted.

“We also welcome any proposed business models and the bidder is allowed to propose any value-added features to the project,” he said.

He said the state needs to ensure that the project would be competitive as it could be one of the main tourist attractions for the state.

The state government called for RFP on January 13 last year and the call for RFP ended on November 30 last year.

“We are now in the process of evaluating and finalising the proposals received,” he said.

He said the government is expected to announce an official offer to the successful bidder before the end of this year.

“As this is a BFOT project through RFP, all construction and operations costs will be fully borne by the successful bidder,” he said.

He stressed that the state did not receive any allocation from Putrajaya for the project.