Media statement by Lim Guan Eng in Komtar, George Town on Tuesday, 29th November 2011:
Penang's aid to trishaw riders should be increased to RM100 monthly not RM100 every two months and subject to the condition of full attendance of George Town Car Free Day
I have directed Penang State EXCO for Tourism And Culture Danny Law Heng Kiang to increase the Penang state government aid to trishaw riders from his proposal of RM 100 every two months to RM 100 monthly. The trishaws would only be paid RM 100 monthly if they attend fully George Town Car Free Day every Sunday from 7am to 5pm in selected streets in UNESCO World Heritage City of George Town.
The state government had planned three months ago with the Penang Municipal Council or MPPP to establish the Car Free Day every Sunday in selected streets in George Town beginning on 11th December. Tipped to be the first in Malaysia, George Town's Car Free Day seeks to promote a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle as well as help trishaw riders increase their income opportunities.
No vehicles or motorcycles will be allowed in these Car Free Day zones, only bicycles and trishaws. This will assist trishaw riders in drawing an additional source of income. To ensure that only genuine trishaw riders benefit, the state government will propose that they must register with the Penang Tourism Department under YB Danny Law.
Further the trishaw riders must be present in the allotted gathering point for a specified period of time to qualify where RM20 will be paid weekly. A bonus of RM20 will paid if they attend fully every George Town Car Free Day for the month. This will ensure that there are trishaws in the allotted areas for tourists and that the genuine trishaw riders benefit.
The George Town Car Free Day initiative is another green initiative by the Penang state government to reduce carbon footprints and usage of cars as well as help the low income groups amongst the trishaw riders increase their income.
*Lim Guan Eng, Penang Cheif Minister