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Gerakan takes Penang gov’t to task over transport plan

PETALING JAYA: Penang Gerakan Youth wants the DAP-led state government to clarify whether it will accept and abide by any federal decision on the proposed RM27-billion Penang Transportation Master Plan (TMP).

Or, would Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng blame the federal government if the project fails to take off, asked the wing chief Hng Chee Way.

The Penang state government has appointed SRS Consortium as TMP’s project delivery partner (PDP) and Lim has said that all relevant components, such as the undersea tunnel and rail services, which makes up most of the TMP cost, must obtain federal government approvals.

“Lim had stressed that the PDP would bear all costs in the event the federal authorities do not give approval.

“I want Lim to clarify if the state government is serious about it and would abide by any federal decision,” he asked in a statement.

The TMP can be rejected if the environment assessment report (EIA) is not favourable, or certain TMP components like the tunnel, do not get federal approval.

“Will Lim then put the blame on the federal government if it does not approve the plan because of a valid, strong and good reason?

“Approve it, very good; don’t approve it, you take the blame?” he asked in a statement.

Hng said it was a slipshod decision by the state government to approve land reclamation projects, which he alleged were a means to fund the TMP, before TMP components obtained approvals from relevant federal authorities.

If land reclamation projects were approved before a decision on the TMP, he said the state government was paving the way for reclaimed land to become a subject of speculation of land costs.

“Putting the cart before the horse i.e. the (land) reclamation works in the southern sea of Penang to commence first before federal approval of the TMP, will eventually allow reclamation projects to become a subject for speculation of land costs,” said Hng.