Stop scare tactics, Penang CM tells tunnel critics


CHIEF Minister Chow Kon Yeow yesterday advised non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the state not to scare people with false information and negativity about the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

Chow said he had explained that the project was necessary to address Penang’s congestion and that it was vital for the future of the state.

He said PTMP remained only a proposal, and would not take off until given the nod by the Federal Government and other agencies.

“I hope NGOs, the Penang Forum and Penang Heritage Trust, will stop (scaring) the people by claiming that the project is environmentally destructive.

“They are saying that if the project was given a go-ahead with the tunnel at Penang Hill, the whole hill will collapse. This is incorrect,” he said at the launch of Penang 2030 here yesterday.

He said he was informed that the tunnel would be drilled inch by inch and cement would be put up on every completed inch to ensure safety and reduce environmental impact.

“I do not understand why NGOs cannot accept the explanation and keep harping on the issue.”

PTMP is a state-initiated project costing an estimated RM46 billion and features an undersea tunnel linking the island to the mainland, highways, LRT, monorail as well as extensive bus connectivity on the island and the mainland.

The proposed Pan-Island Link 1 (PIL 1) highway project will be implemented under the first phase of PTMP.

Chow said the proposed alignment for the PIL 1 highway project was in the preliminary design stage, adding that it was needed to address the worsening congestion in the state.

Penang Forum, a coalition of public-interest civil society groups, called on the state government to review the master plan and scrap the highway project. -- Bernama © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd