GEORGE TOWN (April 28, 2008): By Opalyn Mok
The Second Penang Bridge's full plan and design have yet to be confirmed and neither land parcels have been identified for acquisition, the state government revealed today.
"That being the case, it is puzzling for the Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government to say land acquisition was one problem delaying the project," said Penang Health, Welfare and Caring Society Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh.
Phee, who also sits in the state's newly formed Second Bridge Implementation Committee, said there were no land matter issues to resolve because no land was earmarked for the project.
"They (federal government) have not even drawn up the plans for the bridge, what more talk about land acquisition. They have also not contacted us about land acquisition," he added.
This "confusion" over land problems could be one of the factors for the delay in the project which was scheduled to complete in 2011. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had recently announced that it would be delayed by at least nine months.
Abdullah had claimed the delay were due to land acquisition problems, design and rising costs.
Earlier, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government was left in the dark over the progress of the project except what is reported in newspapers.
He then formed the committee to resolve any land matter issues which may arise from the project.
The proposed 24km bridge will link the island and Seberang Prai between Batu Maung and Batu Kawan. The project is under the purview of the federal government.