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Author: savemalaysia   |   Latest post: Mon, 19 Aug 2019, 6:53 PM


Penang activist moots audit, public KPI for state officials’ overseas trips

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GEORGE TOWN, July 22 ― There should be a public audit to justify the overseas working trips taken by Penang government officials, Lim Mah Hui of a state-based social group called Penang Forum said today.

Lim called on the state Pakatan Harapan government to make transparent its working trips outside the country that use public funds.

“The government needs to give an account of the results of these trips, what was learned and adopted, what was not adopted and why, what was the cost and who went,” he said in a statement.

He said the state needed to justify its objectives for all these trips and meet with a set key performance indicator (KPI).

He said there must be transparency and accountability when it comes to such trips.

“I am not against sending study trips to learn from other countries, else we become katak di bawah tempurung,” he stressed.

He pointed out that the state sent a team to Hong Kong to study hill slope development a few years ago and yet the state saw two fatal landslides that claimed 20 lives.

“Did they learn or implement anything? This is supposed to be a new government of hope. Please walk the talk,” he said.

He said the state government sent a delegation to China to study trackless tram (ART) a few months ago but there was no word on the outcome of the visit.

“The public was not informed what they learned from that trip. Not a word!  Why did they reject the ART which has many advantages over LRT?” he asked.

He said ART is a much cheaper option at one tenth the cost of the Light Rail Transit (LRT).

“We heard the Chinese offered to build one for RM1 bil with line to airport plus line to Seberang Prai compared to RM8.5 billion for LRT,” he claimed.

He said it would also be faster to build ART as compared to the six years or more it would take to construct the LRT.

He said the ART system is also more flexible as routes can be added and changed compared to fixed tracks of the LRT.

Lim said ART is cheaper to operate and maintain and also more environmentally friendly compared to the “bulky and ugly” LRT.

He said the state should consider ART instead of insisting LRT especially when the former has the same capacity and speed as LRT at less costs and time.

Lim’s statement was in response to a delegation to Tokyo, Japan led by Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow from July 20 to 24.

Chow was accompanied by his wife Madam Tan Lean Kee, State Executive Councillor for Public Works, Utilities and Flood Mitigation Zairil Khir Johari, the Penang Public Works Department director Shahabuddin Mohd Muhayidin and representatives from the State Economic Planning Unit.

The focus of the delegation to Japan was to acquire first-hand experience on the requirements of establishing and operating a metro rail line and to gain a better insight on Smart City planning.

Last week, Penang obtained approval for its proposed Bayan Lepas LRT line, stretching 29.5km from the Penang International Airport to George Town.


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