AUGUST 24 — After four years of planning, the Penang’s Light-Rail Transit has finally begun the official public inspection. The LRT will provide Penang with a reliable public transport.
This progressive plan from the government to address the traffic problem in Penang is welcomed. This infrastructural plan will make Penang a better place to live and work.
Besides helping to improve the state’s public transport system, the LRT project will also create a lot of jobs and improve Penang’s economy.
The construction industry in Penang has seen a 10 per cent drop in 2017. Our limited land space is limiting the demand for physical development. There is little available land to attract new housing, commercial, or industrial project.
The LRT will boost the state’s economy and bring new job opportunities to Penang, benefiting also the youths and young talents in our workforce. Many Penangites from a broad range of work ranging from managers to engineers and technical specialists to small-medium contractors are looking forward to provide their expertise and services to take part in building the first LRT in Penang. The government should give priority to the locals.
When there is lack of local expertise for specific task, formation of joint-venture between local and outstation companies should be encouraged so that Penangites can have a share of the labour.
The inclusion of local companies has long-term positive effect for Penang’s construction industry as a whole. The LRT technology is new to Penang. By including local talents and contractors in the LRT construction will enable the transfer of knowledge and skills to Penangites. The entire supply chain established around the LRT can be created for the benefit of the local businesses and economy.
The LRT will be a lasting asset in the state. Preparing a pool of local talents to maintain and upgrade the public transport system in the future will help to ensure the system continues to provide reliable services to the public.
Penang needs the LRT to improve traffic. I am sure local talents and companies are ready to contribute to make our beloved state better.
*Joshua Woo is the executive director of Penggerak Komuniti Muda
**This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.