Some things in the Penang project don't quite fit
The proposed RM6.3 billion highways-and-tunnel project has attracted much criticism from those who say that a road-based plan is not the answer to Penang’s traffic congestion headache.
This puts them at odds with the popular incumbent state chief minister Lim Guan Eng, who claims that something must be done to ensure that another generation of Penangites does not suffer the same traffic woes as the current one.
Essentially, those opposing (mostly made up of NGOs and civil groups) the project do not like it because it seems like an expensive short-term solution.
They have emphasised that they understand the fact that the Pakatan state government’s options are limited because public transport comes under the purview of the federal government - but they say that this does not justify the undertaking of the multi-billion ringgit project.
Furthermore, there are environmental considerations, safety concerns and questions about the way in which this project is being conducted.
Lim (left), however, says his view is simple - something needs to be done, and Penang cannot be held at ransom by the federal government as the traffic situation worsens, thereby causing harm to both the state’s economic and social developments.
On the face of it, one can sympathise with this explanation - in fact, it would seem that many Penangites are also of the opinion that this daily traffic congestion cannot go on.
But there are just a few things that are not quite fitting together.
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