BUKIT MERTAJAM (May 6): The federal government today announced additional funds to expedite the construction of the Penang Light Rail Transit (LRT) project.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the previous federal government had not provided enough funds for several years, especially for the urgent infrastructure development in Penang.
“I had a discussion with the Minister of Transport yesterday and I will also hold a discussion with the state government in the next one or two weeks to find a suitable approach to bear the high cost of LRT construction,” he said at the Malaysia Madani Aidilfitri Open House here today.
He hoped the project would ease the problem of traffic congestion in the state.
“We have LRT, MRT and monorail in the Klang Valley…why can’t we introduce it to the second largest city in our country,” he said.
The LRT project is one of the main components of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) and it is a long-term strategy to overcome the problem of traffic congestion in the state.
The Penang government’s plan for the construction of the LRT line is to connect Bayan Lepas and Komtar.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook when asked to comment on the announcement said the federal government has made a decision in principle to implement the Penang LRT project.
He said, the focus now is to implement this project as soon as possible to overcome the problem of congestion.
“The federal government is ready to finance this project but the financing model and mechanism need to be discussed in detailed…whether through funds from development or off budget or the financing method through PPP (Public-Private Partnership), we need to further details,” he said. – Bernama