KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — A PKR assemblyman has asked Lim Guan Eng's administration to explain why the state's proposed light rail transit (LRT) will cost more than the entire Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system.
PKR's Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin made the query after personally trying out the MRT in Kuala Lumpur following the launch of the second phase this week, according to the Star Online news portal.
“I am going to ask why Penang can't have an MRT. Why an LRT that cost RM27 billion while this MRT, Kajang to Sungai Buloh, costs RM21 billion for 51km, 31 stations, seven interchange stations and seven stations underground.
“How come this MRT is so cheap? Our LRT, we have to reclaim 1,800 ha of the sea and borrow RM1 billion from China Exim Bank. At the end of the day, we do all that just for one LRT line from Komtar to Bayan Lepas. For all that, for what?” she said in a Facebook post.
Norlela also complained that her constituency was not part of the Penang Transport Master Plan and said she would raise the matter during the state's public transport council meeting.
Following her remarks, Penang Transport Council chairman and state exco member Chow Kon Yeow clarified that the projected cost for the LRT in the island from Komtar to the South coastline was expected to be RM8.4 billion.
He added that the actual cost will only be determined after detailed engineering designs and open tenders are finalised.