PR White Elephant >>>

PR White Elephant Project #1: Penang Hill Kancil Car Park

Although I am not a civil engineer, I can tell from my mechanical engineering background that all supporting pillars are too small and thin. The risk of building collapse under the full loading and after one or two pillars knock down by the bus is high.

When I visited Penang Hill last June, I could sense the car park building is in very odd shape. The height of ground floor can accommodate at least two buses stack together, and a MPPP car attendant told me the architect must be “siow” (crazy) person to come out such design.

The design and construction of the car park building fail to meet many building codes as told by the news sources and no CF is issued until today although the project supposed to be completed by Q3, 2010.

This shoddy quality project is not worth RM 5 million.

My question is how on earth the plan was approved by MPPP? Was there no architect or civil engineer in MPPP to review the plan before final approval is granted.

Actually the fault is PDC who has never submitted plan to MPPP in the first place.

The building is an illegal structure from day one, and MPPP also never issued work stop order. This is typical case of rule by law and “I support you, you support me” culture as practiced by BN for the past 54 years, yet PR has learned the bad habit in less than three years.

Penang Development Corporation under the PR government MUST be held responsible for this blunder. PDC people may think LGE is PDC chairman, they can bypass MPPP and take the law in their hands.

Penang CM Lim Guan Eng should enlighten rakyat especially to Penangites what was happened? What actions are going to take against those officials in-charge of this project.

PDC GM should be chopped off with immediate effect if CAT principle is fully preached by LGE.

LGE and his father, LKS always asking BN politicians to resign for negligence and malpractice, now is LGE own turn to show us what is true accountability.

LGE as Penang CM and PDC Chairman should cut RM10 from his monthly salary and fire PDC General Manager.

MACC should come in also to investigate any irregularities in the whole process.

Penang PR government is incapable to manage RM5 million small project, how PR can be trusted by our rakyat to run the country?

Project cost for Kancil car park : RM 5 million

Number of PR White Elephant Project monitored : 1

Total accumulated cost/losses: RM 5 million.

1Malaysia = Duit rakyat dibazirkan, saku PDC diutamakan.

‘Kancil car park’ a white elephant? A puzzle why its plan was approved


THE new multi-storey car park at the base of Penang Hill will end up as a white elephant if no immediate steps are taken to rectify the design.

The Penang Development Corporation (PDC), in charge of managing the project which was funded by the Federal Government, has fallen short of the state government’s competency, accountability and transparency (CAT) philosophy by failing to satisfactorily explain why the much-needed car park has failed to obtain the Certificate of Fitness (CF) from the Penang Municipal Council.

In the first place, how such a poorly designed car park obtained the council’s building approval is a puzzle.

The narrow ramps for cars going up and down slopes are at almost 35 to 40 degrees.

With its short turning radius, the car park is custom-built for Perodua Kancil cars but where will families travelling in their MPVs, mini-vans and sedans park?

The diagonally drawn parking bays make the car park even narrower but while these can be repainted, it remains to be seen how the top floor’s less than 2m-high ceiling will be rectified.

According to Bukit Bendera MCA division chief Tang Heap Seng, the Tourism Ministry had provided funds for the multi-storey car park but “everything from its design to calling for the tender was for the PDC to handle.”

Not white enough: The ramps for cars going up and down the slope are at almost 35 to 40 degrees

The car park is part of the ministry’s RM73mil Penang Hill funicular train upgrading project which includes changing the rail tracks, having two Swiss-made air-conditioned coaches and construction of the base station.

In March last year, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen took the car park contractor to task for inefficiency in constructing the building.

The car park, which is a project under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, was scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2010.

PDC general manager Datuk Rosli Jaafar claimed that the delay was due to some “unexpected site conditions” which required rock blast work to be carried out before construction could start.

The multi-storey building, with 120 parking lots on three levels and the ground floor for buses, was reportedly to be completed only in May this year.

It is learnt that the initial RM3.9mil project cost has ballooned to RM5mil.

Tang, Bukit Bendera Barisan Nasional coordinator H’ng Chee Wey and Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng has since slammed the PDC’s poor management of the project and terrible traffic congestion in the area.

Politics aside, the trio were merely echoing the sentiments of frustrated residents and annoyed visitors.

Meanwhile, Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) is liaising with a temple near the base station to allow the public to park there but this is only expected to materialise within the next six months. Perhaps this measure is too little, too late.

There was ample time to consider short-term parking solutions as Dr Ng had officially handed over the ministry’s completed upgrading project to the PHC on March 19.

The PHC should have foreseen the influx of tourists, especially with the state government’s emphasis on Penang Hill as a ‘must-visit’ landmark in the state.

The recent three-in-one Hari Raya, National Day and school holiday break saw car with number plates from practically every state in the country illegally parked along Hill Railway Road which leads to the base station.

Some circled the area many times to look for a parking bay under the blistering heat before resorting to illegally parking along the yellow line.

Mind you, parking was not free for them as illegal parking attendants charged between RM3 and RM5 for each vehicle.

Those living nearby are understandably annoyed, having to contend with their entrances being perpetually blocked by illegally-parked cars.

These are no doubt other issues that must be addressed but the crux of the matter is that the yet-to-be-opened car park was very poorly designed.

The ‘Kancil car park’ brings to mind the state’s infamous Autopont flyover meant to disperse traffic along Jalan Masjid Negri.

The RM7.95mil French designed flyover had come under fire from various quarters, including DAP’s Lim Kit Siang, when the project got under way in September 1999.

The then council president Dr Teng Hock Nan was left defending what is possibly the country’s narrowest single-lane flyover.

While the 3.51m-wide flyover was within the standard specification of between 3m and 3.65m set for roads and flyovers, Penangites were shocked at Dr Teng’s response.

His reasoning that in the event of an accident, motorists could gostan (a Malay colloquial word for reverse) their vehicles to get back on the road, drew even more ridicule.

Similarly, the ‘Kancil car park’ may be within the technical specifications but surely practicality, functionality and common sense must be the criterion for all infrastructure built because it’s the tax payers who are paying for it and it is they who will be using it.

The last thing they want is another white elephant.

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I must admit, just from looking at the photo is does appear that the building could potentially be unsafe.

Farizuan says:

Ini adalah projet BN!

Kemudahan-kemudahan yang perlu disediakan di tapak adalah atas kehendak serta kelulusan Majlis Tindakan Pelancongan Negeri Pulau Pinang di bawah Kementerian Pelancongan. Peruntukan bagi projek ini diluluskan oleh Kementerian Pelancongan Malaysia di bawah RMK9. Jumlah siling peruntukan yang diluluskan adalah berjumlah RM5.0 juta.

Projek ini pada asalnya diserahkan kepada pihak JKR dan MPPP untuk dilaksanakan. Walau bagaimanapun, mesyuarat Post EXCO Pelancongan pada September 2007 di bawah kerajaan negeri dulu, telah meminta untuk PDC bertindak sebagai agensi pelaksana.

Itulah sebabnya kerajaan negeri PR yang baru dan YAB Ketua Menteri tidak dimaklumkan tentang kemajuan atau diminta memberikan kelulusan untuk projek ini kerana “pelanggan” adalah Kementerian Pelancongan.

nkkhoo says:

PR cannot push the responsibility to Tourism Ministry after PDC agreed to accept the task.

LGE could stop PDC to handle this project after he appointed himself as a chairman for PDC after March 2008. He may be a sleeping chairman for not knowing what happened in PDC!

If LGE did not change BN-GM for PDC when he took over PDC, himself has to be blamed for this blunder.

I foresee the building has to be torn down for safety reason.