Media Statement by YB Chow Kon Yeow, Penang State Executive Councillor for Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation on 1 December 2017 (Friday)

Media statement on news article published in entitled, “Lebuh Raya Tertinggi Di Malaysia Sudah Dibuka, Bebas Tol & 6 Kali Lebih Murah Berbanding Kos PIL 1 P. Pinang!” which quoted political analyst Lim Sian See.

  1. Following the media statement which clarified on the cost of the Pan Island Link I (PIL 1) Highway by the Penang State Government on 26 July 2017, it is reiterated that comparing dissimilar projects ie. between PIL 1 Highway and the Rawang Bypass is highly misleading because these are 2 different projects with vastly different design, features, engineering and social conditions.
  2. With such fundamental differences, it is futile (pointless) exercise for a cost-per-km comparison when both projects are essentially not like-for-like from an engineering point of view – please refer table of comparison below.


PROJECT PIL 1 Highway Rawang Bypass
Alignment Length 20km 9km
Cost Estimated cost of RM7.5bil based on RFP includes land acquisition, construction cost, and other costs (e.g. design, supervision, fee, etc) RM628 mil – does it include land acquisition and other costs?
Unique Features
  • First of its kind in Malaysia – combination of elevated structure and tunnels.
  • About 8km of tunnels to protect Penang’s hills
  • About 10km of elevated structure (high piers and viaduct) built over difficult terrain.
  • 6 complicated interchanges.
  • Significant engineering and social challenges posed by site conditions.
  • Only 2.7km elevated structure.
  • 6.3km built on ground.
  • 2 interchanges.
  • No tunnels.
Site Challenges
  • Very challenging as it passes through entirely heavily-built up (urban) and hilly areas with major encumbrances – complicates construction process.
  • Shorter stretch that passes through predominantly suburban/ rural and short stretch of hilly area with less encumbrances.
Hill Cutting Minimal embankment to preserve the Penang’s hills Significant hill cutting totaling 23.6ha (about 58 acres)
  1. It is to be firmly reiterated, the estimated cost of RM7.5bil for PIL 1 (as per RFP Volume 1 page 4-15) is only based on preliminary studies carried out for the Penang Transport Master Plan’s Request For Proposal (RFP) submission.
  2. The estimated cost of PIL 1 from the RFP is not the confirmed project cost until Work Package Contractors are appointed through open tender. 
  3. Open tender is a competitive and transparent process. Should the total bids amount to lesser than the estimated cost, the savings goes back to the State Government and the people.
  4. This is different from turnkey projects where the construction cost is finalised between the asset owner and contractor before construction. Any cost savings during construction goes back to the turnkey contractor.
  5. The Penang State Government adopts an efficient implementation system for PTMP based on CAT principles, where all benefits go towards people of Penang. It is for this reason that the State Government adopts the PDP model and open tender system for PTMP.
  6. The Penang State Government welcomes constructive comments from the people to improve the delivery of PTMP.
  7. However, comments made without thorough fact-checking or understanding of the subject involved will only give an incomplete picture to the public (half-truths) and undermines the State Government’s efforts to improve the livelihood of the people by mitigating severe traffic congestion in the State.
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