Penang CM Urges Reconsideration of LRT Opposition, Highlights Marathon Plans.

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Penang CM urges reevaluation of LRT opposition while unveiling plans for the Aspen-Klippa Penang Bridge International Bridge Marathon 2024.

GEORGETOWN, 3rd Apr 2024 – NGOs persistently opposing the Penang Light Rail Transit (LRT) Mutiara Line project are encouraged to weigh the project’s advantages, particularly its long-term socio-economic benefits for the community. Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow highlighted that the project underwent rigorous procedures and extensive public and NGO consultations before receiving approval.

“We urge the NGOs against the LRT project to consider its holistic benefits. Additionally, public engagement sessions revealed over 90% support from the community. It’s time for action; any concerns will be addressed by the project implementing company. We encourage skeptics to consider the broader perspective,” he stated during a press conference held at his office in conjunction with the Aspen-Klippa Penang Bridge International Bridge Marathon 2024 on Monday.

He responded to media reports discussing calls from various environmental NGOs, such as the Malaysian Nature Society (SAM), urging the government to reassess the proposed LRT project due to concerns about its purportedly high costs and projected usage levels.

Chow acknowledged that while the LRT project might not entirely alleviate traffic congestion in Penang, it represents an initial step by the state government to address the daily traffic challenges faced by the people.

Chow, who serves as the chairman for state finance, economic development, land, and communications committee, clarified that the projected cost of RM10.5 billion was based on the system and train design specifications. He emphasized that the final cost would be established upon completion of the request for proposal (RFP) process.

On the previous Friday, the federal government assumed control of the Penang LRT initiative from the state government, subsequent to the Cabinet’s endorsement of the project’s development proposal on March 22. The Mutiara Line LRT, slated for launch by 2030, is designed to connect Silicon Island to Komtar, extending across the channel to Penang Sentral in Seberang Perai.

Regarding the Aspen-Klippa Penang Bridge International Bridge Marathon, Chow mentioned that it is scheduled for December 15 at Aspen Vision City in Batu Kawan, featuring a route across the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge. Anticipating around 30,000 participants, this marks the inaugural marathon on the mainland, offering three categories: full marathon (42km), half marathon (21km), and a 10km run.

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