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Penang Chief Minister should remove Dr Teng Hock Nan as a member of the Penang State Exco for his total failure in restructuring and improving the public bus transportation system in the state

Media Statement
by Ng Wei Aik  

(Penang, Thursday) : During the MCA and Gerakan Chinese New Year Open House, Penang Chief Minister, Dr Koh Tsu Koon had to resort to begging the Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi to “invite” RapidKL to restructure the public bus transportation system in Penang. This is a public humiliation that the Gerakan-led Penang state government. It proved to the people of Penang, the incompetence of the state’s public transportation committee led by Penang State Exco member, Dr Teng Hock Nan.


Dr Koh claimed that the request for RapidKL to manage the state's public bus system was to avoid burdening the state government’s coffers. However, such a lame excuse is most likely to disguise Dr Teng’s inept performance, especially since the latter is slated as a potential candidate for the next Chief Minister of Penang.


Prior to this, Dr Teng had just recently announced that Bus Negeri Pulau Pinang (BNPP), a Penang government incorporated bus company will be established to restructure the local bus system. Hence such flip-flop decision-making process demonstrates the weaknesses of the local state government.


In addition, it is unclear if RapidKL will take over existing bus operators, as happened in Kuala Lumpur when Intrakota and several other bus companies were bailed out. Or will it instead compete unfairly with them?


Hence, Dr Koh has not only conceded the state government’s incompetence, he has also placed the existing bus and public transport operators in a limbo for their interests have clearly not been taken into consideration. Due to the uncertainty over the fate of the existing bus operators, will the public bus transportation system suffer from now till August, when the newly formed ‘RapidPenang’ commences operations with 150 buses?


The suddenness of the RapidKL announcement and the distinct lack of direction, planning as well as proper change management will only result in chaos for Penang’s public transportation system. It is also unknown as to how the introduction with a new bus company will resolve Penang’s transportation woes, instead of merely complicating the already complex situation.


Since Dr Koh has decided to let the Federal Government “take over” the local bus transportation system, it has made Dr Teng position in the State Exco in charge of the public transportation affairs redundant.


Hence, Dr Teng has the option to either tender his resignation or be removed from the Penang State Exco as well as the Chairman of Penang Local Government, Transportation Management, Information and Social Relations Committee.



*Ng Wei Aik, Political Secretary to DAP Secretary-General

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