No funds for the important PIL1? Bridging loan needed.

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These days, Penang’s traffic jams are getting worse. One very good example would be the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu (LCE) expressway. Please do not use it during peak hours or you will feel like you are in Kuala Lumpur. Thus, there was a proposal for a Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) and for the government to provide it with a soft loan of RM1 billion to kickstart the project. I think we sort of guessed that the federal government will not be able to fund the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1). Nothing to do with the state issue. It’s more of a priority issue. Perhaps if PIL1 request come in 2021 for example when the government is back on a stronger foundation, it may get the RM1 billion fund requested.

Article in penangpropertytalk.com Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said since the loan from the federal government for the Pan Island Link1 highway was halted, the project delivery partner would now have to fund it. “This is an additional option we are looking at,” he said. Chow said the government was still waiting for the Environmental Impact Assessment approval for the Penang South Reclamation (PSR), the funding model for the RM46bil Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) encompassing the PIL1. SRS Consortium said the state should stick to the agreement in the Request For Proposal while the company looks for the RM1.3bil bridging loan to kick-start the project. Its project director Szeto Wai Loong said,
“That was what was agreed upon.” Presently, the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu (LCE) Expressway is Penang’s only spine road. The PIL1 is expected to serve as a second link with a ring traffic dispersal system connecting the connecting several highways and the first as well as second Penang bridges. Article in penangpropertytalk.com

I am not a big supporter for the LRT in Penang yet unless we could start seeing the change of behaviour of Malaysians willing to take the public transport instead of driving their cars. Or if the state is willing to be more like Singapore where the people HAVE to take the public transport. Buying a car is grossly expensive and driving it into the city centre is cost-prohibitive too. Penang is still a small state by the way. So whether it’s the trams or the LRTs matters very little if after completion, it’s not utilised by the public. Here’s an earlier article: Public transport needs behaviour changing too However I think PIL1 will be necessary because LCE is already congested today. Happy following and hoping for good news on the funding soon.

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Article written and edited by Charles. News article summarised by Dina Batrisyia.

written on 26 March 2019

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