Gerakan veteran expects PTMP to proceed over objections

GEORGE TOWN: A Gerakan veteran expects the proposed Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) to move ahead despite growing reservations among non-governmental organisations and residents groups over the viability of the mega project.

Wong Mun Hoe claimed that the DAP-led state government seemed to have made up its mind up even before the last general election as to the form of the master plan they would like to employ in Penang.

"But because they needed votes for the election, the state decided to remain quiet about it during the campaigning and now they have unveiled aspects such as the Pan Island Link 1 (highway)," Wong told theSun here.

Now, with a clear mandate received from the Penang electorate, the state has decided to press through the master plan despite attempts by civil societies to seek a review of the project, said Wong.

It is also helped by the fact that the federal government is now controlled by Pakatan Harapan.

The key highlights of the PTMP are up to five elevated highways, a light rail transit (LRT) system and a cross channel undersea tunnel between the island (Gurney Drive)and mainland (Bagan Ajam).

Referring to the outcry from civil society members under the Penang Forum, Wong said they should have known that a strong mandate was given to the state after DAP through Pakatan Harapan won the last election.

"It is a signal that the people accept the master plan, hence the state is now just doing its part by moving ahead with the mega project."

In a related development, Penang Forum member Dr Lim Mah Hui clarified an earlier report which said he was referring to a one track project.

"What I meant was a trackless tram system which is cheaper (20% cost of the LRT) and it is faster to build. It is used in Sydney (Australia)," said Lim through a WhatsApp message.

He said state leaders must justify why they had ignored such new technology in favour of the old one.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow could not be reached for comments.






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