STAKEHOLDERS in Penang, championing for a better public transportation system, and Penangites at large are still looking forward to the Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT) project to be materialised.
The RM9.5bil project has been dealt a blow after Putrajaya withdrew its RM2bil government guarantee for the state government to finance the project.
However, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow had been reported as saying that the state would proceed with the project, using other financing options.
Some notable figures and members of the public whom Buletin Mutiara interviewed today expressed their support for the state government to make the state’s first LRT project a reality for the betterment of people.
Penang Chinese Chambers of Commerce (PCCC) vice-president Datuk Finn Choong told Buletin Mutiara that many Penangites are eager to see the state’s LRT project get off the ground after years of planning.
He said this project, under the comprehensive Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), was one of the long-term plans to bring the state to a greater height.
“This initiative is to alleviate traffic gridlock, especially on the Penang island.
“The unresolved traffic congestion over the years is likely to see light at the end of the tunnel when the project is done.
“This can be a catalyst of growth for Penang in the future.
“Nevertheless, my view is that this initiative is critical for Penang if we want to be a real world city rather than merely just a name,” he said today.
Raine & Horne International Zaki + Partners Sdn Bhd senior partner Michael Geh said the property sector would receive a boost with the implementation of the LRT.
“The proposed Bayan Lepas – Komtar LRT line will stimulate the overall property market, especially to the stations nearby.
“It will tackle the traffic congestion during the peak hours in Bayan Baru and its vicinity. If the project materialises, it will also be a plus point for the property sector,” he said.
Muazim Shuhaimi, 24, said the project was important as one of the alternatives to overcome traffic congestions.
“Aside from tackling congestion, I believe that it helps to save cost and time.
“I hope the state can find a winnable solution with the Federal Government for the people’s benefit,” he said.
Benji Ang Ming Quan, who is self-employed, believes that the LRT is the key for the state to a complete transportation system.
“It is necessary to have this LRT line as Komtar, which serves as the state’s administration complex, houses various government agencies.
“I would like to propose that this Bayan Lepas – Komtar route includes the Sungai Nibong bus station as well.
“It’s important for the state and Federal Government to set aside their differences for the sake of the people’s welfare,” he added.
Story by Edmund Lee