LETTERS: I refer to the letter published on Feb 17 titled “Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) a Trojan Horse”.
The letter slams the Penang government for “rushing to sign a Project Delivery Partner (PDP) agreement with SRS Consortium to implement PTMP”, as if it is a bad thing.
As a Penangite, I am tired of the traffic jams and the NGOs that can’t seem to stop attacking the Penang Transport Master Plan, like the letter writer.
I disagree with her. The state government is not rushing to implement this project. I think it’s slow. It’s not working fast enough. The PTMP website shows a timeline for the master plan that started with the setting up of the Transport Council in 2009. It is now 2020.
As a Penangite, I would say “very good” if the state government is really rushing because we have waited long enough.
I thought everybody agreed that public transport is the solution to our traffic problem. If we don’t build the LRT and everyone continues driving, how will we solve the congestion?
The NGOs object to building more roads as it will put more cars on the road. How are we going to improve traffic flow if we don’t improve the road network?
I felt relieved when I read the news late last year that the construction of the new highway linking Air Itam and the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway is starting soon. At least, something is moving in the PTMP.
Why is the Penang South Reclamation a Trojan Horse? There are many debates about the reclamation but many can also accept PSR as the means to pay for the PTMP components and other major state projects.
This means the state will not have to depend on federal funds or loans from banks. Is this wrong?
The state explained that PSR can create more land for development, such as expanding the industrial zone. This can also lead to job creation. Is this a bad thing?
The NGOs mention the high price of PTMP and PSR but what cost will Penang pay if the projects are not implemented?
Where will we find new land for development? How will we expand the industrial zone, bring in investors, attract and retain talents, stimulate and sustain economic growth for Penang?
We can’t stay competitive without strategic land for high-tech industries. We will lose investors, jobs and talents to Kedah.
Frankly, many of us don’t really care whether PTMP is different from the Halcrow Plan. We just care how fast and how efficiently we can get to work, school or wherever else we want to go. We care how far Penang can grow for the sake of everyone’s future.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times