It appears to me that your government is trying to use the current ‘overwhelming majority’ to push through the project by equating any opposition to the project as an opposition to your government. It has given me an impression that your administration is putting this project at a higher priority than your party’s political struggle to end corruption, to enhance separation of power, to decentralize federal control and to promote other democratic ideals.
Khoo Kay Peng
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, since your letter
to Malaysiakini.com and The Malaysian Insider is directed to the critics of the proposed highways and a third-link underwater tunnel project worth RM6.3 billion it qualifies me to respond to you. I was one of your lesser-known critics. Whether you choose to believe or not, I do not work for or represent any political party or NGO.
I am a voter in Penang and I firmly believe that politicians and policy makers whom we have chosen to govern the nation through a strenuous but necessary electoral process should be responsible to do their best for the people.
You said that we (the critics) have made misleading claims against your proposal. I shall endeavour to prove it to you that the concerns I have raised are not without their merits. I would like you to view these issues from a non-politician or voter standpoint.
You claimed that the project is a “desperate” effort to decongest traffic congestion on the island and bring about smoother traffic flow on the mainland of Seberang Perai.You pointed at the failure or reluctance of the federal government to entertain the state’s numerous requests to help improve public bus service on the island as a main contributor to your administration’s desperation.
If given a choice, you concurred that improving public transport is still the best option. You said; “Much as we prefer the public transport option, one must not forget that public transport in whatever form is the exclusive prerogative of the federal government. Even if it is funded by the state government, nothing can be done without the sanction of the federal government. Therefore, regurgitating the homily that we should be investing in public transport instead is akin to beating a dead horse.”
Here is where I am going to attempt to get you and other politicians to see our viewpoint. First, if the reluctance to explore the public transport option is due to politics why should the people be made to suffer the consequences of our deplorable state of politics?
In a matured democracy, politicians should be able to differentiate between when to engage in a political battle and when to cooperate for the common good of the people.
However, you are implying that the people should ultimately be burdened with an expensive alternative project proposed by your administration because of the reckless and endless political bickering between the two coalitions.