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Abolish Penang Bridge toll says Lim Guan Eng

September 15, 2010
Guan Eng calls for abolishment of Penang Bridge toll

Written by Regina William
Tuesday, 14 September 2010 19:11 The Edge Malaysia
GEORGE TOWN: On the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Penang Bridge, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng reiterated his call to the federal government to abolish the toll collection.

Lim said after 25 years, the construction costs of the bridge at RM750 million had already been recovered with more than RM1 billion in profits made to date.

“The federal government should abolish the toll for the bridge as the construction costs have already been surpassed with profits,” Lim said at a press conference on Tuesday, Sept 14.

The Penang Bridge was opened to the public on Sept 14, 1985, and it was the third longest bridge in the world then, with an overall length of 13.5km and now handles more than 100,000 vehicles a day. Eight km of the bridge is over the sea.

Lim also urged the federal government to work with the Penang government to ensure the focus of transportation was to move people and not cars.

The bridge was only one of modes of travel, which should also include a rejuvenated ferry system to achieve the purpose.

Lim also acknowledged the contribution of former Chief Minister, Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu during whose time the bridge idea was conceived and constructed.

He said after 25 years, there is much room for improvement on the part of the bridge concessionaire.

He cited the incident last Saturday where the Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s cables under the bridge had caught fire and caused a 10-hour traffic gridlock on the bridge.

Lim issued a reminder that safety measures on the bridge need a thorough review and overhaul.

He also cited a lack of coordination between the bridge concessionaire and the ferry operator, which was also apparent, and said there was a need to mitigate traffic congestion during such incidents.

Lim who earlier met Tenaga president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, urged Tenaga to make public a report on the cause of the fire of the cable, which has been described as “unusual” and should not have occurred.

Unlike the 1995 fire which affected the power cable and resulted in two days of power cuts on the island, the latest incident only resulted in a two-minute power disruption.

A total of 150 metres of cable was said to have been affected and repair bills could be RM5 million. The cables are expected to be fully repaired by December.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Yeoh Lee Eng Hock permalink
    September 15, 2010 5:01 PM

    DAP will bring Sarawak back to prosperity again.
    Vote for a new corruption free Sarawak Government.

    Convincing proof that voting for change can only bring good to the people.
    Must really rid the country of the gutter rats and leeches who have sucked the country dry to the point of being bankrupt through corruption and power abuse.
    Do you still want to continue to vote these parasites into power like it has been happening over the last 50 more years?

    PENANG EXCEEDED RM1 Billion in revenue in 2009 – 1st time in 52 years
    Congratulations to Penang !!!
    Congratulations to all the People of Penang for voting in a better govt.

    While Pahang which Governed by Barisan Nasional for past 52 years is facing bankruptcy.
    Penang is praised by Global Anti-Corruption watchdog Transparency International for its anti corruptions efforts.

    What makes Malaysia all of a sudden to be ranked on 47 out 180 countries ?
    Answer : The Malaysian People made the right choice by denying 2/3 majority enjoyed by Barisan Nasional all this years. It’s a well check and balance by Pakatan on Barisan that led to this 47th position.

    If Malaysians wants to enjoy this, then you should know what to do in the next election !!!

    Anyway congrats to Pakatan Led by DAP in Penang . In just 18 months CM Lim turned around Penang into corrupt free State . Shame on BN & ex-CM Dr Koh of Gerakan.

    As ex-Gerakan President Lim KY had said: “BN/Gerakan has lost Penang forever.”

    “RM 10 billion in losses from corruption per year is a huge sum and there must be greater commitment from the Federal government towards fighting corruption to ensure that 27 million Malaysians can benefit from this RM 10 billion dividend from successfully combating corruption.”

    Global anti-corruption watchdog ranks Malaysia 47th least corrupt, praises Penang

    GEORGE TOWN, Sept 24 – Global corruption watchdog, Transparency International (TI), has ranked Malaysia as the 47th least corrupt nation in the world and commended the island state of Penang for its anti-corruption efforts.

    Denmark, New Zealand and Sweden was listed by TI as the top three least corrupt countries as measured by the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which ranks countries in terms of the degree to which businessmen and country analysts perceive corruption to exist among public officials and politicians.

    Singapore , Finland , Switzerland , Iceland , Netherlands , Australia and Canada rounded off the top least corrupt countries.

    Malaysia came in 47th out of 180 countries in the index, tied with Hungary and Jordan .

    The CPI is part of TI’s Global Corruption Report (GCR) 2009 released yesterday.

    In its report on Malaysia, TI highlighted the Malaysian practice of the “revolving door” whereby individuals move from government to business, or business to politics, and back again, and estimated that corruption could cost Malaysia as much as RM10 billion a year.

    “Significant government participation in the private sector and considerable business participation in politics means that the movement of gatekeepers to players and players to gatekeepers has a negative influence on the concept of checks and balances,” said TI.

    “The complexity of the relationships between politics and the public and private sectors means that corruption may take place with impunity. Until drastic action is taken to separate the cozy relationship between government, business and politics, the anti-corruption effort will remain no more than a token gesture,” said TI.

    Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng says he is “humbled” by the recognition by TI and added that he was concerned over the fact that that corruption could cost Malaysia as much as RM10 billion a year – an amount equivalent to 1 or 2 per cent of GDP as pointed out by the GCR when it cited the findings of the special government business facilitation task force Pemudah and the World Bank.

    Additional report contents that were of concern to Lim was Malaysia’s per capita spending of only RM5 on anti-corruption efforts and the fact that only about 10 per cent, or just 7,223 potential corruption cases, of the total 71,558 reported between 2000 and 2006 were investigated by the Anti Corruption Agency, the precursor of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, with a conviction rate of less than one percent.

    “The GCR 2009 concluded that this illustration of the Malaysian government’s inaction in the light of the serious corruption allegations, along with its seeming inability to catch the big fish instead focusing on the ‘small fry’, suggests that what anti-corruption efforts exist are mere tokens,” said Lim.

    “RM 10 billion in losses from corruption per year is a huge sum and there must be greater commitment from the Federal government towards fighting corruption to ensure that 27 million Malaysians can benefit from this RM 10 billion dividend from successfully combating corruption.”

    Lim also today announced that the state has managed to cut about RM36 million or 12 per cent of in operating expenditure this year due to its efforts to curb corruption.

    “Transparency International’ s recognition of anti-corruption efforts by the Penang state government through CAT (Competency Accountability And Transparency) governance is backed up by savings of nearly 12 per cent of the 2008 Penang state budget of RM 36 million from operating expenditure. This RM 36 million savings has allowed the state government to carry out social programs and implement its people-oriented government,” said Lim.

    TI said that the Penang state is the first Malaysian state government to implement the open tender system for government procurement and contracts.

    It also recognized the state government’s directive barring administrators and state executive councilors from making any new land applications and efforts to attract professionals to serve on various boards, such as the Penang State Appeals Board.

    “On behalf of the Penang state government, we feel humbled by the recognition given by a world renowned body such as Transparency International and would redouble efforts to ensure the anti-corruption reforms are institutionalized and ensure more professionals are appointed to key bodies. Fighting corruption generates savings for the people,” said Lim.

    He added that the two local authorities in Penang are expected to save another RM34 million over three years from a “transparent” negotiation over the price of solid waste disposal that reduced the rates agreed to by the previous Barisan Nasional administration by a further 42.4 per cent.

    Lim said that the savings would go towards the state government’s “3E” programme to “enable” the people with skills and knowledge so that they have an equal opportunity to create wealth, “empower” them with fundamental rights and basic freedoms, and “enrich” the people by sharing wealth and economic benefits.

    Now it is Penang Boleh – Vote wisely for a better Malaysia .

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