Is the Penang Transport Council effective without independent and professional planners?

HngCheeWey 20151010 Penang Transport Council BIPENANG — Penang Gerakan Youth Chief Hng Chee Wey is doubtful the new Penang Transport Council has the expertise and ability to cope with the challenging needs of the Traffic Master Plan Strategy in Penang, because the council’s composition does not include independent and professional planners.

“Although the Council’s terms and reference are just to implement and coordinate various traffic plan strategies, its composition should include professionals with relevant academic backgrounds and experiences”, Hng said in a statement.

Hng said certain unexpected intervening traffic problems might crop up that would affect the implementation of the existing traffic plans.

According to Penang Transport Council chairman Chow Kon Yeow, the main task of the council is to implement and coordinate various mega scale traffic flow plans in the state.

Hng said without the participation of politicians and the government technocrats who possess vast experience and the relevant traffic planning backgrounds, the council would not be able to effectively implement plans.

“Let us take the proposed Undersea Tunnel Project by the state government as an example. A report is submitted by the study team on the feasibility and suitability of the seabed for the location of the said undersea tunnel. If it is not suitable to construct the proposed undersea tunnel at the proposed location, then how are the Council members who do not possess the relevant professional knowledge and experience going to evaluate and appraise the accuracy of the report? Or how are they going to propose any amendments to make the proposed project feasible?”

Hng said the Penang Traffic Council played a vital role and hold a very heavy responsibility to deal with the ever demanding and challenging traffic congestion problems in Penang, as this is the main agenda of Penang people to give the mandate to Pakatan-led state government since the General Election in 2008.

“However, we do not hold any high hope and expectation of the Council because we believe that the council should include at least two highly qualified traffic planners or professional engineers to oversee the implementation of the relevant traffic dispersal projects, to set and regulate the safety criterion and the standards for construction works”, he added.

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