THE Penang government is committed to implementing its long-term plan such as the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) and Penang South Reclamation (PSR) projects.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the future of the state lies with these mega projects because they are a springboard for Penang’s highly competitive growth towards gaining an international stature as an intelligent state in the coming decades.
“PTMP is a long-term plan which is aimed at addressing two main concerns. One is the traffic congestion due to inadequate infrastructure and transportation network.
“The other is the lack of quality land for development to meet industrial and commercial expansion that is necessary to cater for the growing population on the island as well as the mainland. Both these issues combined hamper the economic progress in Penang.
“Thus, PTMP is seen as a transformative transportation development master plan that can address the challenges we are currently facing. It can also help in striking an economic and social balance for the state government, especially in addressing the problems of traffic congestion,” he said during his keynote speech for Penang Transport Forum 2019: Unlocking Mobility in Penang Through Rail at St Giles Wembley Hotel in George Town today.
Chow said the PSR, on the other hand, is seen as a Penang Economic Transformation project with the aim of creating a robust international service and manufacturing hub.
“With a proposed 4,500 acres of reclaimed land, the state government can then provide quality affordable homes at strategic locations linked by LRT, trams and highways.
“This comprehensive master plan can attract foreign investors and spur Penang’s dynamism further. This reclamation will be owned by the state government and is projected to turn the tables on the issue of land scarcity,” he added.
According to Chow, the development of a holistic transport network is a major step which needs to be taken to transform the state of Penang into a modern and smart state. That will result in providing desired economic returns in the form of higher income and a better quality of life for the citizens.
“With the rapid advancement of technology in the global arena, Penang will be marginalised and excluded in the modernisation cycle if we do not act proactively by creating an integrated environment with IT-intensive modes and well developed facilities.
“The sustainable development of a state or a country depends very much on systematic and realistic planning because it has a huge impact on the economic growth, liveability and sustainability of a city.
“Such planning should not be focusing only on being economically expedient and faster, but more importantly, the plans must be reliable, sustainable and feasible for the long-term development of the city. The state government has taken a serious approach in addressing this problem and initiated a long-term solution since 2011,” he said.
Also present were Canadian High Commissioner to Malaysia Julia Bentley, Malaysia Canada Business Council president James Taltron, state Public Works, Utilities and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari, Pulau Tikus assemblyman Chris Lee Chun Kit, state legal adviser Datuk Norazmi Mohd Narawi, state financial officer Datuk Sarul Bahiyah Abu, moderators and panelists.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Chan Kok Kuan
Video by Darwina Mohd Daud