Second protest against transport plan

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GEORGE TOWN — Several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) held another protest against the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) outside the state legislative assembly building yesterday.

The groups, consisting of various residents associations and the Penang Forum, want the master plan to be reviewed.

A Penang Forum representative, Khoo Salma said the state government did not give full details of the plan and its component, the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) project.

“If we look at the Environmental Impact Assessment, there are no details on the feeder roads to PIL1. We want to know the details and where it will affect,” she said.

The groups held placards with words like “No Bitter PIL1” and “Review PTMP” while chanting “SRS stay away, No way highway, PIL go away, review PTMP”. The groups gathered outside the gates at about 9.15am and dispersed 30 minutes later.

Khoo said the state should be focusing on providing a comprehensive public transport system instead of building highways.

She also called on the state government to reveal all of the clauses in the master plan contract with the SRS Consortium.

“We want more transparency on this project, this is a RM46 billion project, the state government must be more transparent about this,” she said.

The groups also held placards pointing out similarities between the master plan and the cancelled Penang Outer Ring Road which was proposed by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) state government.

The same group held a similar protest calling for the PIL1 to be scrapped and the master plan to be reviewed, on Monday outside the state legislative assembly.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has responded numerous times that the state government will consider all feedback from the public regarding PIL1 as it is yet to be approved.

He said PIL1 was a proposed alignment that can still be amended to minimise the effects on the people.

The master plan is the state government’s ambitious public transport plan that includes highways and LRT lines to resolve the state’s worsening traffic woes.

The RM7.5 billion PIL1 project is a proposed highway to connect the north of the island to the south of the island by cutting through hills including in Penang Hill and Paya Terubong, while a cable-stayed bridge is proposed to cross over the Youth Park, a popular recreational park.