Develop Penang for Shared Prosperity!
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We appeal to the father of modern Malaysia, the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, all Federal Ministers, the Chief Minister and State Exco members of Penang to help to develop Penang, our home. Please help us by facilitating the approval process and ensure the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) and the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) follow the 18 pieces of advice given by the National Physical Planning Council on 18 April 2019.
We are ordinary Penangites who want Penang to have a future. We need high-income jobs, quality education, good public facility and infrastructure, and a society that shares prosperity among its members.
Shared prosperity can only be achieved when the sector of technology, tourism, education, agriculture, culture and arts, health, manufacturing, and export (T.E.A.C.H. M.E.) in Penang are constantly being developed. These sectors are the ‘software’ to build Penang’s future. They need ‘hardware’ to work. We believe that the Penang State Government’s PSR and PTMP are the ‘hardware’ for the following 31 reasons:
1) PSR will lay the foundation for the 21st century Penang
Reclamation at the Free Industrial Zone, Weld Quay, Gurney Drive, Queensbay Mall area, and Karpal Singh Drive have transformed Penang from a backwater fisherman village into a successful state in the 20th century. These places become centres of where we work, play, and live. Well-planned reclamation will continue to transform Penang for the better into the 21st century.
2) PSR and PTMP elevate the benchmark for state-led development
By using open tender (via Request-for-Proposal), these two projects set a new benchmark of how good state-led development projects should be. They can be inspiration for other large-scale projects in the New Malaysia.
3) PSR provides strategic land for industrial and commercial use
The reclaimed islands will provide the needed land space that is near the airport and the second bridge for expansion of the Free Industrial Zone. The location is strategic for foreign investors.
4) PSR preserves agricultural land
PSR will provide new land space for development without intruding the current agricultural land which takes up more than a third of Penang’s area. Together with the development of urban farming, the preservation of agricultural land will increase food security. (Penang2030 Guide, 25)
5) PSR provides strategic land for public housing
Up to 30% of the reclaimed islands will be reserved for public housing and affordable units. The location is strategic for those who work in the Bayan Lepas area or want to stay near the airport. Providing public housing at deserted location will burden home owners.
6) PSR provides accessible public space
The reclaimed islands will have beaches and public parks open for public use. These will increase open space for Penangites. Popular recreational places like Karpal Singh Drive and Straits Quay are built on reclaimed land.
7) PSR provides development for Penang south
The reclamation and the subsequent development on the reclaimed islands will open new economic and entrepreneurial opportunities, and increase public amenities in the area.
8) PSR expands knowledge-based economy
By developing industry that is based on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, artificial intelligence, and Internet-of-Things, the PSR will increase transfer of technology into Penang and expands the local knowledge economy.
9) PSR reduces and prevents brain drain
With high-end industries in place, local talents can be retained. Penang will not lose her brightest talents to other places.
10) PSR increases social resilience
With good job opportunities, children do no need to be separated from their parents by moving out from Penang for better job offer. This will increase family bonding and social resilience of the family unit that forms the basis of a society.
11) PSR looks into the welfare of fishermen at Penang south
Two engagement centres are established at Penang south to look into the needs of the local fishermen. The centres are opened five days a week during office hours for anyone to walk in for enquiry or register for jobs.
12) PSR provides proper housing for fishermen and squatters
State Government will give priority to affected fishermen and squatters to apply for proper housing rather than occupying illegally without ownership and proper hygienic facilities.
13) PSR provides additional funds to the State Government
The estimated return of PSR is over RM70 billion. If PTMP costs RM50 billion, there will be RM20 billion for the State Government to carry out various other projects that are beneficial to the public.
14) PSR can fund flood mitigation projects around Penang
The fund generated from PSR can be used to build various flood mitigation measures that are currently stagnated due to lack of resources.
15) PSR can boost a research-based university
Fund generated from PSR can support the establishment of a new industrial-led and research-based university, built on the proposal by Penang Skills Development Centre. (Buletin Mutiara, 9 October 2018)
16) PSR can further empower local governments
The fund from PSR can help local councils to deliver more efficient service and effective enforcement, which currently are pulled back due to lack of resources.
17) PSR can fund hillslope strengthening works
State Government will be able to allocate more resources to strengthen hills and hillslopes, which currently costs RM120 million. (New Strait Times, 9 November 2018)
18) PSR can develop water management asset to boost water security
State Government will be able to increase water security for Penang from the fund gained from PSR.
19) PSR can provide more scholarship to students
Increasing industrial stakeholder in the state will lead to more potential supporters for the Penang Future Foundation that awards scholarship to local students.
20) PSR to be a smart city
PSR will create a new urban area that applies the best of urban and town planning.
21) PTMP establishes public transport backbone
The Light-Rail Transit (LRT) will serve the high demand corridor along the east coast of Penang island and the northern west coast of Penang mainland. These two areas have the highest mobility need. As a medium-capacity public transport, the LRT is suitable for this corridor.
22) PTMP establishes traffic dispersal network
The Pan Island Link I and II expressway and the three major roads provide the needed network to re-route traffic.
23) PTMP provides a balanced approach to address mobility need
PTMP aims to hit 40% of public transport usage with 60% of private vehicle usage. This duo-focus on developing reliable public transport and dispersal road network has proven to be effective in cities with similar objective.
24) PTMP brings development to northern part of mainland
The third link will increase accessibility and stimulate the economy at the northern part of the mainland. Currently there are only the middle and southern part of the mainland that are connected to the island.
25) PTMP is widely consulted
There are almost 1,000 stakeholder sessions with more than 17,000 people involved in the PTMP engagement program. Two centres with full-time staffs were set up to engage the fishermen at Penang south every working day.
26) PTMP is committed to detailed assessment and mitigation measures
PTMP strictly adheres to all the requirements by the authorities. The reports are made available to the public during the public display period. The Penang State Government has publicly pledged to begin the construction only when all approvals are granted.
27) PTMP aims to be self-sustaining
PTMP applies transit-oriented-development framework to establish locations with commercial, residential, and public facilities to generate income to cover the operation cost.
28) Construction of PTMP is self-funded
The PTMP is entirely self-funded through the PSR plan. This financing model removes the financial burden from the government for PTMP’s construction and operation.
29) PTMP will engage contractors through open tender
Penang State Government and the Project Delivery Partner will use open tender method to source for contractors in order to get the best price for the best service.
30) PTMP will expand the local engineering expertise
The construction and maintenance of the PTMP will develop a new generation of technical experts and engineers.
31) PTMP will make Penang more attractive to tourists
Good public transport infrastructure and wide traffic dispersal road network will make traveling around Penang easier, a plus point for tourists.
Penang needs a future so that all of us can continue to stay, work, and build our family here. We appeal to our top leaders to help us.
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