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Big biz rape of Penang continues, aided by Pakatan

Thu 2011-Apr-28 @ MYT 22:46:15 pm
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We need to alleviate the traffic congestion as well as to improve links so you’ll make the two halves of Penang into one.
LIM GUAN ENG
Penang chief minister, on Thursday

By the time they’re done, they will fill in the sea between the island and the mainland. Politicians and big business — a lethal combination

IN THE WORKS:

  1. Tunnel from Gurney Drive to Butterworth
  2. 4.2km elevated highway from Gurney Drive, to coastal expressway
  3. 4.6km tunnel and highway from Ayer Itam to expressway
  4. 740 acres of land reclamation at Tanjung Tokong to Gurney Drive
  5. Reclamation of 350 acres at Middle Bank between bridge and Weld Quay

Outsiders smile as they rape Penang with tall tales of noble aims and intentions

The rape of Penang island and destruction of what makes George Town and Penang different is being renewed with ferocity, three years after the general elections of 2008 put a stop to grandiose plans by the previous Umno-Gerakan big business consortium. On Thursday morning, the Penang government signed an understanding with a Chinese company for a cross-Channel tunnel, and elevated highways and tunnel in George Town city.

Lim Guan Eng, the chief minister, had announced plans two days ago for an Inner Ring Road, from Gurney Drive to the expressway, and for a tunnel and highway from Ayer Itam to the expressway. The cost was estimated at more than RM4bn — leading to questions of how the Penang government planned to finance it.

On Thursday, he coyly refused to reveal the cost. After signing the agreement with Beijing Urban Construction Group Co Ltd, witnessed by the prime ministers of Malaysia and China, Najib Razak and Wen Jiabao, he said: “We need to alleviate the traffic congestion as well as to improve links so you’ll make the two halves of Penang into one.”

The sea off Tanjong Tokong now belongs to the rich. Some 240 acres already reclaimed, and they want 700 acres more

Earlier this month, he said Penang would tear up its development master plan and go along with Najib Razak’s announcement that Penang would be developed by the federal government to be the country’s third metropolis, after Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru.

Najib’s government has announced plans to swallow up the Klang Valley through its plans for a Greater Kuala Lumpur, with massive urbanisation for 10 million people. Johor Baru is living in the shadows of the Iskandar development, which calls for development and urbanisation on an area three times the size of Singapore.

Earlier this week, the Penang Hill Railway reopened after a RM70mil redevelopment, in which a 100-year-old railway viaduct, and Middle Station were destroyed. The funicular railway, which was unique in Asia, now travels up Penang Hill in a matter of 10 minutes. Some visitors this week were reported to have said the trip was too quick.

The plans for new land reclamation by E&O Property were approved by the state government last week. The company has already reclaimed 240 acres of sea off Tanjung Tokong to Pantai Molek, and the new reclamation will engulf the whole bay from Tanjung Tokong to Gurney Drive.

The company had won approval from the previous Barisan Nasional government for its plans, which call for the creation of three man-made islands in the sea off Gurney Drive.

On the eastern coastline:

Coming up near the Penang bridge, on the seaward side of the already reclaimed land for the Jelutong expressway. Sea views only for the rich and the commercial. Photo: uppercaise

Photo: uppercaise

On the eastern shore, reclamation is proceeding near the Penang Bridge for condominiums and commercial buildings on the seaward side of the new coastal expressway.

Soon only the rich will have access to the sea.

See what’s left of Penang now. In a decade it won’t be any different from KL, full of cars and highways. And the planners and politicians, officials and developers will be laughing all the way to their banks.

SEE ALSO:
» ANIL NETTO: Penang-B’worth tunnel MOU signed
» HIMANSHU: Return of the PORR quake


© 2011 uppercaise except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved

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6 Comments
  1. Fri 2011-Apr-29 @ MYT 13:24:56 pm 13:24

    as a born and bred penangite, i’m very sad to hear of this. penang won’t be unique anymore. it’ll be a concrete jungle! and why so much of sea reclamation? penang island one day will sink!

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Fri 2011-Apr-29 @ MYT 13:37:17 pm 13:37

      penang people have to stand up for themselves and not let politicians and businessmen decide their futures for them.

    • ST Leong permalink
      Fri 2011-Apr-29 @ MYT 22:04:54 pm 22:04

      Development is important. Standup for what when it brings proper and wealth to the citizens. Do you think PR will do bad? Penang has been raped for 50 years and with the FDI, Penang can stand up proud.

  2. nick chan abdullah permalink
    Fri 2011-Apr-29 @ MYT 17:21:51 pm 17:21

    BN or PR ? pick the lesser of evil :D

  3. hello permalink
    Sat 2011-Apr-30 @ MYT 16:43:02 pm 16:43

    Do you want developement with hidden agendas filled with cronyism and corrption as in Gerakan/BN or an open developement without corruption? Or do you want to maintain the present status of traffic jams which will get worse as time goes on? Apa Case uppercaise?

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Sat 2011-Apr-30 @ MYT 17:47:08 pm 17:47

      an honest government that does the wrong thing is no better than a crooked government that does some right things.

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