Penang awakening
The three new links planned for the island under the 9MP have set the property development community abuzz with excitement.
If there was one state that came into the spotlight when the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) was announced, it would be Penang . Going by the latest announcement, the state would benefit from proposals for a traffic dispersal system on the island by way of the Penang Outer Ring Toad (PORR), a second bridge link and a monorail system. Those who have to face traffic congestion – getting to and from the island – would certainly welcome the second link, which will connect the southern part of the island at Batu Maung to Batu Kawan on the mainland. As for the 17km PORR, it is planned with eight interchanges and four tolls begin about 1km form the existing bridge and end at Tanjung Tokong. In future, it could even link up to JE Highway , which is 4km from the planned PORR.

Certainly, the new links are set to have spin-off effects on the state economy. Equine Capital executive chairman Patrick Lim put things into perspective. “Currently, as one of the major economic centres of the country, Penang 's efficiency is not at all at its optimum. The new links will enable Penang to achieve its maximum strength as the economic driving force for northern Peninsular Malaysia and will have spillover economic effects in neighbouring states like Keda, Perlis and northern Perak.”

Lim adds that the new bridge will open up to new areas on the mainland, and this spur further economic growth in areas that have been bypassed by the North-South Expressway. As for PORR and the monorail, these would provide alternative routes while traveling time will be reduced, leading to grater efficiency in transportation system.
The new links will most likely make Penang a more attractive tourist destination as accessibility will improve and traveling time from the airport to Georgetown and Batu Feringghi will be cut. The manufacturing hub in Bayan Lepas is also expected to benefit from the greater accessibility as traffic from the rest of the peninsular, particularly from the south, will have shorter journeys as opposed to the present situation.
Source :The Edge 17/4/2006 Close Window