BM 中文 English

Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof WRONG and making politically motivated attacks to sabotage Penang State Government’s initiatives to reduce traffic congestion

As reported in NST dated 12 February 2018, YB Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said that the tunnel project would only start construction in 2023, but the project was awarded in 2013. The State Government does not find this unusual as we have seen even the First Bridge and Jambatan Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah (Second Penang Bridge) took years to be implemented as follows:

No.

Phases of Project

First Bridge

Duration

Second Bridge

Duration

Start

End

Start

End

1.

Feasibility Studies & Detailed Design

1971

1982

11 years

2000

2008

8 years

For information, utilisation rates for the First Penang Bridge and Second Penang bridge respectively at 87% and 50% as quoted by the Works Minister is not reflective on site currently during the AM/PM peak as the traffic is almost standstill at the First Bridge. The traffic demand for the First Bridge was even projected by Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd in 2001 to reach up to 163,400 vehicle per day by 2020 in comparison to the maximum capacity of 155,000 vehicle per day even upon widening. It is also noted that the Second link was constructed to divert approximately 20% of the traffic from the First Bridge and to promote socio-economic development in the South that would provide a balanced development across the Penang State. Hence, this does not resolve the congestion issue and the Third Link is required to be explored further as part of an efficient traffic dispersal network.

YB Datuk Seri Fadillah has also raised concern on the mode of payment of using pre-determined acreage of prime Penang seaside land based on today’s value.

The State Government would like to reiterate that the land is set at a future value based on Jabatan Penilaian dan Perkhidmatan Harta (JPPH) valuation. The State Government has no other financial resources except the land swap funding model to undertake the Project which is vital for the people of Penang. Typically, such Mega Project requires the involvement and funding of the Federal Government. The financial model was in accordance to the model adopted by Federal Government and the previous State Government for several projects which had been planned or implemented such as the Jelutong Expressway, Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR) and Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) which was aborted. Therefore, if this land swapping funding model is foreseen as an issue to the Federal Government, the State Government welcomes the assistance of the Federal Government for monetary funding.

In response to the toll concession concerns, the State Government would like to clarify that the tunnel concession model is not a conventional model in nature as the funding of the project is not provided by the Federal Government instead being funded via the earmarked land swapping deal. Further, the State Government does not give any traffic volume guarantee like the Federal Government. If there is any drop in revenue of profits or traffic volume, the Penang State Government shall not be liable for any loss that may be incurred by the Company due to lack of use of the Penang Third Link and the 30 years concession period shall not be extended. This is in contrast with the First Bridge whereby the concession period has been extended by the Federal Government.

Penangites want Paired Roads to be built to provide an alternative to existing congested roads. Fadillah is again wrong to say that building the paired road on hill slopes is not environmentally sensitive. The 3 main roads have obtained Environmental Impact Assessment approval from the Department of Environment proving that Fadillah is making politically motivated attacks to sabotage Penang State Government’s initiative to alleviate traffic congestion.

Lim Hock Seng
Penang State Executive Councillor for Public Works, Public Utilities and Transportation
Media statement by Lim Hock Seng in George Town on Monday, 12th February 2018