If we do not want traffic congestion to be a regular feature for our children, there is a need for a paradigm shift towards a concept of “moving people instead of moving vehicles” that entails huge investment in public transportation and infrastructure.(e/c)

Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 2.1.2016

The traffic congestion during the holiday session and huge traffic jam yesterday caused by a minor accident where a car overturned on the First Penang Bridge, will be a regular feature as Penang emerges as a regional and national tourist, services and manufacturing hub. If we do not want traffic congestion to be a regular feature for our children, there is a need for a paradigm shift towards a concept of “moving people instead of moving vehicles” that entails huge investment in public transportation and infrastructure.

The Federal government realises how serious traffic congestion is in Penang, and has dangled a LRT system only on the island, with the Prime Minister himself promising 3 times to build one. However, just like his previous empty promises to abolish the Sedition Act, the Prime Minister has not kept his word to Penang.

We will not allow the Federal government to choke Penang to death with traffic congestion. For this reason the Penang Pakatan Harapan state government has no choice but to take the initiative to do a comprehensive public transport system on our own that involves both the mainland and the island, and not just only the island.

The Penang state government understands concerns amongst some segments of the public about the scale and scope of a Transport Master Plan(TMP) that involves a huge sum of RM27 billion, because the TMP caters for the whole state of Penang and is not just island-centric. However these concerns stem for justifiable fears that the whole exercise will follow the BN approach of enriching BN cronies with hugely inflated costs that finally does not benefit public interest.

Similar concerns were expressed about why would Penang need the RM300 million sub-terranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition(sPICE) Centre in Bayan Baru. However despite severe criticism, the decision of the state government to press on in building sPICE has been proven correct with the refurbishment carried out sold out bookings for sPICE.

The Penang state government can allay such concerns about the TMP by adopting the CAT governance of competency, accountability and transparency of conducting open competitive tenders, full disclosure of information under the Freedom of Information Act; and public hearings to gain public feedback BEFORE the state government decides whether or not to proceed.

The people of Penang will make the final decision and if they choose to reject the RM27 billion TMP, in accordance with democratic principles the state government will humbly accept their decision. The state government has come out with the TMP and we are willing to “fail trying” than fail to try.

Questions have also been raised why we would adopt a 5-in-1 solution involving buses, taxies, LRT/monorail, water taxies/ferries and cable car. To improve connectivity, we must try to have as many links as possible between both the mainland and the island to reduce traffic bottlenecks. The ferry service has failed abysmally to perform its public duty under the Federal government and the traffic accident in the First Penang Bridge yesterday only underlines the importance of the proposed under seabed tunnel and the cable car.

To win the future, we must invest in the future. To invest in the future is not about investing in building a new underground city but investing in people, education and public transport. There is no doubt that an efficient public transport benefits the poor more than the rich. This is the rationale why the public in Penang has so far being overwhelmingly positive, even though the RM27 billion cost will have to be financed through land reclamation.

The Penang state government is not surprised at Penang BN’s new-found opposition towards land reclamation when they had issued out land reclamation contracts to their cronies when they were in power before 2008. Lembaga Kemajuan Ikan Malaysia(LKIM) is now opposing land reclamation allegedly to protect fishermen in Penang, despite supporting the tens of thousands of acres of reclamation recently approved by other BN-controlled state governments. Can LKIM explain whether there any difference between Penang fishermen and those fishermen from other states?

Malaysians are not so gullible to believe in such double-standards and hypocrisy by BN and LKIM. The present Penang state government has even secured a higher compensation payout to fishermen for the Tanjung Pinang land reclamation project approved by the previous BN state government – the highest in Malaysian history.

Penangites want a secure future for their children – to be able to live in a liveable city that is clean, green, safe and healthy free from crime and traffic congestion. Only a clean leadership and good governance can transform Penang into an international and intelligent city.

LIM GUAN ENG

槟州首席部长林冠英于2016年1月2日在乔治市光大发表文告:

槟城一逢假日期便出现塞车,更甚的是,昨天大桥发生一起小车祸,旋即引起交通大阻塞。然而,这种现象未来将会是槟城的常态,因为槟城已崛起成为区域及国内的旅游、服务及制造业重镇,如果我们不想让下一代继续面对交通阻塞的问题,势必要做典范转移,即“移动人群而非交通工具”,对公共交通及基础设施做出重大的投资。

联邦政府固然知道槟城的交通阻塞有多严重,首相亦三次允诺要在槟岛兴建轻快铁,只是,一如过去他曾表示要废除煽动法令一样,这些诺言最终都没有履行。

我们不能因为联邦政府的袖手旁观而让交通阻塞问题断了槟城的生路,职是之故,槟州希望联盟政府在别无他法之下,着手处理一套网络遍布槟岛及威省的公共交通系统,让两岸都能受惠而非仅此槟岛。

槟州政府明白,有些民众对于这个耗资270亿令吉的交通大蓝图其规模及范围会有些疑惑,毕竟此大蓝图涵盖槟威两地,而非仅仅以槟岛为中心。凡此种种忧虑及恐慌其来有自亦可谅解,因为大众担心有关计划遵循国阵的模式,最终惠及的是朋党,而非公众。

同样的疑虑,其实也反映在过去州政府坚持在峇央峇鲁兴建价值3亿令吉的国际会展中心之际。但,如今有关中心在完成后已被抢用一空,证明当初决定无误。

对于民众在大蓝图的疑虑,槟州政府在决定采用蓝图与否之前,将以能干、负责及透明的原则应对,包括采取公开竞标、在资讯自由法下让资料自由流通、举行公听会来收取民众意见,以昭公信。

槟州人民将会做出最终的裁决,如果大家最终选择拒绝此项计划,州政府将基于民主原则,谦虚地接受大家的决定。无论如何,我们推出这个选项无非希望做出改变,我们宁愿尝试后失败,也不愿什么都不做,什么都不尝试。

有人也对我们采用巴士、德士、轻快铁/单轨火车、水上德士/渡轮及空中缆车——五合一的蓝图感到疑惑。要改善公交的连接性,我们就得尝试各种不一样的方式,把槟威两地连接起来,解决交通瓶颈。在联邦政府管辖下的渡轮服务差劲,一旦发生像昨天一样的大桥车祸事件,海底隧道、空中缆车这两个选项就变得重要了。

要在未来脱颖而出,我们现在就必须敢于投资未来。要投资未来,并不是砸大钱广建大楼就足矣,而是投资在人民、教育及公共交通之上。毋庸置疑的是,一套有效率的公共交通,比起有钱人,一般穷人更能受惠。这也说明为什么当此270亿令吉大蓝图宣布时,人民的反应普遍是正面且积极的,即便我们必须要借填土来获得资金。

对于国阵在2008年前执政槟城时,曾批准朋党的各项填海计划,槟州政府并不感到诧异。现在,大马渔业发展局以保护渔民之名反对填海,却不反对国阵批准的数千英亩填海计划,实在令人纳闷。大马渔业发展局是否能解释槟州与其他各州的渔民有什么分别吗?

马来西亚人自然不会轻信于国阵及大马渔业研究发展局的虚伪及双重标准。现任槟州政府甚至给予受前朝政府批准的丹绒槟榔填海计划影响之渔民史无前例的高赔偿,创下大马的新高记录。

槟城人无不希望下一代拥有一个安全美好的未来,让子孙们可以生活在一个宜居的城市,这里干净整齐,绿意遍布,同时安全又健康,没有罪案,更没有交通大阻塞。而这个想象,只有一个廉洁及善治的政府领导,才能予以落实,使槟城成为一个真正的国际智慧城市。

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