Penang BN manifesto pledges to cancel tunnel project

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SEBERANG PERAI — Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) launched its election manifesto yesterday with pledges to resolve flood, housing and traffic issues, and cancel the RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project.

Penang BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow, who launched the “Save Penang” manifesto, said the coalition is introducing 60 initiatives in the manifesto.

“These can be implemented immediately once we get the mandate from the people,” he said in his speech at The Light Hotel here.

Teng accused the Pakatan Harapan (PH) state government of making 51 empty promises over the past 10 years under its administration, including the alleged lack of results from 2013’s Paradigm Master Plan.

He also claimed development in the state has been on autopilot over the same period, thanks to the strong foundation laid out by the previous BN administration.

“We had a structural plan 2020 and they took it, used it, made slight changes and claimed it as their own,” he said.

According to to Teng, the proposed undersea tunnel project would be cancelled because it would cause more congestion with more traffic into the island.

Instead, the focus should be to look at ways to reduce congestion, such as creating a traffic dispersal plan, increasing the efficiency of the existing public transport system, and creating “park and ride” facilities.

BN pledged to implement a Penang flood mitigation plan, which includes ceasing development on highlands and hill slopes 76.2m above sea level, and declaring them as permanent forest reserves.

Teng said if BN is given the mandate, it would set up an “interest-free fund” for low-cost, low-medium cost and People’s Housing Project (PPR) buyers.

He said low-cost house prices would be set at RM40,000 and would include free parking, while medium-cost units will be priced between RM80,000 and RM120,000.

BN would make it a requirement for developers to set aside at least 30 per cent of their projects to the three categories of buyers.

A rent-to-own scheme and reductions to development charges would also be imposed on the categories.

“If we are not given the mandate to implement these, I worry that the youth of Penang will be faced with a housing crisis due to the rising prices of properties here,” Teng said.

Other manifesto pledges include free parking, a special fund of RM2,000 for first-time married couples, a waiver of land tax and assessment for low-cost, low-medium cost and village houses, and the re-introduction of the World Musical Fiesta Tour.

Teng advised Penangites to be rational when casting their votes.

“Don’t vote against BN just because you are angry with a BN leader who may have spoken out of turn. Please go to the polls after looking at the different policies presented to you and choose the ones that benefit you the most,” he said, without naming the “leader”.