Friday, July 4, 2008

I’m all for PORR project, says Law - The Star

Jul 4, 2008

DAP elected representatives hit back at former Gerakan's Batu Uban assemblyman Goh Kheng Sneah over comments that the state government had sent “confusing signals” over the shelved Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) project.

Penang Tourism, Culture, Arts and Heritage Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang said he was all for the project, provided several concerns were addressed.

“I tabled a motion in the state assembly in 2002 to postpone PORR as there were several concerns about the project. Firstly, there was no open tender and the selection of the company to build the road was not transparent.

“Secondly, we were against the (then) state government's plan to allow the acquisition of 202ha of land in the Gurney Drive area and its agreement to give 30.8ha of prime land in George Town for the project.

“We were also against the cross subsidy concept (that allowed the company to undertake property development on reclaimed land to fund the cost of road) as we felt the Federal Government had sufficient funds to build the road,” Law said, adding that he had asked for a postponement and not cancellation of PORR.

He also said that DAP had been concerned about the proposed three toll gates on PORR as it felt it was the government’s responsibility to provide transportation routes for the public.

Law, who was speaking at a press conference in Komtar yesterday, was commenting on Goh's allegations that DAP had been against the PORR project before taking office on March 8.

On Monday, Goh, who is also Gerakan Youth Small and Medium Industries (SMI) Bureau chairman, said the state government had an inconsistent stand on PORR by citing examples of Law’s postponement motion and objections by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s political secretary Ng Wei Aik made in August 2007.

When contacted, Ng said he was against the proposed alignment and toll collection of PORR.

“The alignment was made without any public consultation and there were many reservations on the toll collection.

“I believe some aspects of PORR need to be abandoned to ensure that the road benefits all parties,” said Ng, who is also the Komtar assemblyman.

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