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Wednesday, 25 July 2018

(The Star) Penang group wants PM to intervene on highway project

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Citizen Awareness Chant Group (Chant) has urged Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed to intervene on the proposed Pan-Island Link (PIL) I which it claims could have an environmental impact on the Penang City Park.

Its adviser Yan Lee said trees in the area would have to be chopped to pave the way for a feeder road for the 19.5km PIL I highway from Gurney Drive to the Penang International Airport.

“When the elevated highway is built, the trees in this area would have to be removed.

“Two lanes will link up with the PIL from here, and the feeder road will cut through the park and it will change the entire outlook.

“Thousands come here to exercise every weekend and they will have a six-lane highway running above their heads,” he said during a press conference at the entrance to Persiaran Kuari yesterday.

Yan Lee said the country should be looking at improving public transport as a whole.

“Kuala Lumpur is an example. For the past 20 years, we kept building more highways but it did not work at the end of the day.

“When they built the MRT and LRT lines, it made a lot of KL people happy because it has cut down on their travelling time.

“Similarly at the Lim Chong Eu Expressway, where travelling from Gurney Drive to the airport used to take around 18 minutes, now it takes 45 minutes.

“Five to 10 years down the road, we will be looking at the same thing happening to the PIL.

“This is the Pakatan Harapan government and a new Malaysia. We should be going for sustainable development and strive for green development instead of more highways,” he said.

It was reported that the Penang government is mulling a RM1bil soft loan from the Federal Government to start the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

Consumers Association of Penang president S.M. Mohamed Idris has also called for the suspension of the PTMP until a comprehensive review is done and the affected communities could provide their feedback, following the recent release of the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment for the PIL.