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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Penang Monorail Being Shelved? Are These People Kidding?


I believe the amount saved from subsidy cut is enough to build a decent public transportation system in Malaysia. It is said we will save about RM 23 billion from subsidy cuts alone. The Penang Monorail system is only about RM2 billion. That means Malaysia can have 10 more “Penang Monorails” based on the savings alone. If Malaysia sells bonds to subsidize this project and if the project is done on large scale, it will be cheaper and more tracks and trains can be built and bought.

I’ve said it once, I’ve to say it 1000 more times. The subsidy that the government is cutting does not go back to the people. It goes to cronies and people who are connected. It is not spent back to the people. It's making a small minority richer and the majority suffer.

I read the report on Malaysiakini that the Monorail Project ( and PORR) is shelved by the government. We have heard so many times the government says that the money saved from subsidy will be spent on infrastructure.

Well, the Penang Monorail project is BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE. Not only that, it is a necessary infrastructure in order to reduce our consumption on oil. It is also necessary to provide alternative for the people transporation wise.

It is exactly the much needed projects that is supposed to be built with the money saved from the cutting of subsidy. What’s more, the amount of fuel consumption can be significantly reduced with the project. I estimate at least 5% of Malaysia’s fuel consumption can be reduced, plus, with alternative transportation, the Penang economy will enjoy a bigger increase in consumer spending that will make local business owner very happy.

You see, to put “consumer spending” concept in simpler terms. When people goes out less, it means that people will visit business establishment less. When people goes to “shops” less, people will buy less. When people buy less, business’s earn less profits or records losses. When this happens, we find more “shops” closed and we will also find more people out of jobs.

But with a proper public transportation system, people have alternatives to travel and move without having to hawk their future. People will also have more money in their pockets (termed: disposable income) since they do not have to spend much on fuel anymore. When people have more money, they will spend more, and businesses will thrive more solving a lot of problems related to employment and bankruptcy. Which means less problems for the government and happier subjects of the state.

The reasoning given by BN government is also, at best, funny. Read:

“It stressed that the shelving of the projects was part of the government's "relocation" of resources to cushion the impact of the unprecedented hike in global oil prices.”

Now, isn’t that a case of “liar, liar, pants on fire”. This project is exactly the kind of project needed to handle the “unprecendented hike in global oil prices”. The amount of savings from subsidy due to this project alone will enable the government to sell bonds just for the sake of financing this project.

In fact, I advocate the government of Malaysia to sell bonds in order to build train system in all major cities in Malaysia and at least triple coverage for the current LRT station in Kuala Lumpur. In addition to the savings generated from the cutting of subsidy.

I believe the amount saved from subsidy cut is enough to build a decent public transportation system in Malaysia. It is said we will save about RM 23 billion from subsidy cuts alone. The Penang Monorail system is only about RM2 billion. That means Malaysia can have 10 more “Penang Monorails” based on the savings alone. If Malaysia sells bonds to subsidize this project and if the project is done on large scale, it will be cheaper and more tracks and trains can be built and bought.

But, it seems we have been lied to by Barisan Nasional. We were promised a public transport system from the savings of subsidy. Now, we see public transport are being denied from Penangnites.

If the BN government refuses to finance this project, I challenge the BN government to amend the Finance Act to allow Penang Government to sell bonds. I am sure that if it’s Penang government handling the same project, it will cost MUCH LESS than RM 2 billion. Or with RM 2 billions, Penang government can build tracks 3 times the size that’s is planned by the BN government.
As for PORR, I would like to reserve my comments as there have been so much controversy on the project. Only thing is that, with the project there’ll be less traffic jam. That would mean less waste on fuel which in turn results in less spending on fuel.

Lastly, this denial underlines the hypocrisy of the BN government. This is a trying time and everyone is suffering. It is not the time to play politics and it is certainly not the time to punish people for voting Pakatan Rakyat.

There will be other elections and in the next 4 years, people will decide again. And by allowing this project to proceed, I am sure many will be indebted to BN and will change their stand on the BN. It’s a loss for BN actually.

Maybe it’s a sign that BN is near to it’s demise.

Tulang Besi.

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

And so much money has been spent on PutraJaya! Sigh! Double sigh!

Alias Mohd Yusof said...

Jambatan Kedua Pulau Pinang yang membazir.

Perbelanjaan untuk membina jambatan ini adalah antara empat ribu juta hingga enam ribu juta ringgit dan panjangnya hampir dua kali ganda panjang jambatan yang pertama yang telah ada sekarang.

Saya fikir ia merupakan satu jumlah pembelanjaan yang sangat besar sedangkan keperluaannya bukanlah terlalu utama sangat.

Apakah kerana projek ini berada di Pulau Pinang yang merupakan negeri Pak Lah maka projek mega ini boleh diteruskan sedangkan projek jambatan bengkok menggantikan tambak ke Singapura dengan mudah dibatalkan begitu saja.

Rasanya jambatan bengkok yang dicadangkan itu jauh lebih banyak faedahnya kepada Negara berbanding jambatan kedua Pulau Pinang yang hendak dibina itu, ini kerana dengan adanya jambatan bengkok itu akan membolehkan kapal-kapal lalu di Selat Johor, dan ini dapat memajukan lagi pelabuhan-pelabuhan yang ada di persisirnya.

Pembinaan jambatan kedua pulau pinang hanya akan menambah kesesakan kereta di bahagaian pulau tersebut. Apa yang lebih perlu dilakukan ialah memperbaiki sistem pengangkutan awam supaya lebih selesa dan cekap di negeri itu bagi menggalakkan orang ramai menggunakan pengangkutan awam.

Apabila jambatan yang dibina terlalu panjang, kerana kononnya hendak dapat nama jambatan terpanjang, di masa akan datang kereta yang melaluinya semakin bertambah dan jambatan menjadi sesak, dan bila kerajaan mula memikirkan untuk melebarkannya, sudah tentu untuk melebarkan jambatan yang panjang terpaksa menggunakan kos yang tinggi berbanding untuk melebarkan jambatan yang pendek.

Kalaulah jambatan pertama yang ada sekarang ini dilebarkan menjadi lapan lorong sekalipun bagi menampung kesesakan lalulintas, rasanya belanja yang perlu digunakan tidaklah sebanyak membina jambatan kedua yang dicadangkan itu. Ini kerana jambatan yang pertama itu jauh lebih pendek dan kos melebarkannya tentulah jauh lebih murah.

Apakah projek jambatan kedua pulau Pinang ini betul-betul diperlukan atau hanya semata-mata hendak menyediakan projek untuk kontraktor kroni?

Bukanlah sepanjang masa jambatan ini sesak, yang biasanya sesak hanya waktu pagi dan petang iaitu masa orang ramai pergi dan balik bekerja dan juga di waktu cuti perayaan.

Yang membuatkan kesesakan lalulintas menjadi lebih teruk adalah disebabkan oleh perlahannya kenderaan kerana terpaksa membayar tol. Kalau pembayaran tol ini dapat di tiadakan tentulah pergerakkan lalulintas boleh bergerak lancar.

Mungkin kalau projek jambatan kedua ini digantikan dengan jambatan untuk laluan monorail atau LRT antara Bandar Butterworth dengan George Town adalah lebih berfaedah lagi. Jarak jambatan yang lebih pendek antara dua bandar ini dapat menjimatkan banyak kos dan memang lebih praktikal untuk membina jambatan untuk monorail atau LRT di kawasan Bandar yang sesak dengan bangunan.

Walaupun projek mega seperti jambatan kedua ini mungkin dapat memberi peluang pekerjaan yang banyak kepada orang ramai tetapi ia bukanlah suatu projek yang betul-betul perlu dan memberi manafaat keapada rakyat untuk jangka masa panjang.

Lebih besar kos jambatan kedua yang bakal dibina nanti, semakin tinggilah beban bayaran tol yang akan dikenakan keatas rakyat yang menggunakannya bagi membiayai semula kos pembinaan dan penyenggaraan projek tersebut.

Perlukah negeri seperti Pulau Pinang yang kecil yang terkenal di kalangan pelancong luar itu dipenuhi dengan kereta bila kenderaan-kenderaan ini lebih mudah keluar masuk setelah terbinanya jambatan kedua nanti.

Langkah yang lebih tepat pada masa sekarang ini selari dengan kenaikan harga minyak dan langkah berjimat dalam perbelanjaan kerajaan ialah dengan membatalkan projek mega jambatan kedua Pulau Pinang ini, sebaliknya tumpuan lebih perlu diberikan bagi mempertingkatkan pengangkutan awam seperti membina monorail dan LRT serta sistem pengangkutan bas yang cekap dan murah bagi menarik orang ramai menggunakannya.

lucia said...

true. so true. the subsidy all goes to their pockets. see my latest blog post - someone wrote about the RM625 (car) and RM150 (bike) to be returned to us - even that they profit from us!!

rajan r said...

The government lower the amount of fuel subsidies because it can't afford it. Wouldn't it be rather daft then to take all the savings and, instead of paying down national debts and lowering the fiscal deficits, build 10 Penang monorails?

Tulang Besi said...

Dear Rajan,

Next we have to ask, why doesn't the government have the money?

Our exports are up, our GDP is robust, our reserves are good.

All indications are pointing to a healthy economy, which means that we have the money we saved.

And we have to pay subsidies every month or year.

We spend on public transport infra only once.

So, why not spend now???

I know for a fact Malaysians prefer public transport as compared to driving. Just go to any LRT stations at rush hour. Go to stesen masjid jamek at 0800 in the morning on a work day and see for yourself.

Renzo said...

taknak buat LRT negeri lain? yg dpt keuntungan negeri tertentu ja, negeri sabah, sarawak ngan negeri lain mcm mana?

Anonymous said...

It's simple,because Penang is not under BN.....
Try to simplified everything, and you will see the reason behind the decision...isn't that?

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