(Picture borrowed from Keny Neo Penang Travel Page)
If you plan to go up to Penang Hill for some cool respite, think again because the funicular train service has stopped taking tourists up in the past few weeks.
There was some problems or faults with the cables and despite numerous repair works over the past months, similar problems kept cropping up, thus causing frequent service interruptions. So, in the most recent problem, they decided to just shut the whole thing and stop taking tourists up that way rather than leaving tourists stranded for hours.
However, residents still get to take the train up midway if they do not stay higher up. Those living further up would need to take a jeep up all the way. It seems that the state government is really at a loss over what to do to solve this problem.
The federal government had promised RM40mil to upgrade the whole funicular train service and guess what? Yep, the project has been 'deferred'. Apparently, this project is also not people-centric enough.
I guess cutting off tourists from one the major tourist sites in Penang will not affect Penangites that much. I mean, after all, Penang Hill is only one of Penang's major landmark. It is nothing. Tourists do not need to go up. And the funicular trains. Those are also another of Penang's landmark. Nothing great. Not important at all. Tourists do not even bother going there anymore. (sarcasm, people, sarcasm...)
Is it me or do I feel that the federal government has already started 'marginalising' Penang just because it is now under an Opposition government?
First they 'postponed' the Penang Outer Ring Road and Monorail projects and then this upgrading project too. Okay, so, I fully agree that PORR should be scrapped. But we do need an integrated public transportation system that THEY, BARISAN NASIONAL, HAD BLARDY PROMISED before the general elections.
This goes to show that the BN government NEVER EVER keep their promises, huh?
Anyway, blame and finger pointing aside, what is the state government doing about this? Well, it seems that they are still stuck in their Opposition party mindset. They are pointing fingers at the federal government for canceling, errr postponing, the projects.
Yeah, sure. We ALL know what the federal government did but what ARE you going to do? What is the DAP-PKR state government going to do about it?
I mean other than pointing fingers and blaming the federal government and urging the federal government to fulfill their promises. Heck, we ALL know the federal government couldn't care less about what the Opposition state government has to say or urge, right?
I think it is REALLY time that the DAP-PKR state government start thinking about solutions and solving problems like putting in place an integrated public transportation system and a way to replace the cables or upgrade the funicular train service FAST.
After all, George Town is now one of Unesco's World Heritage Sites. Soon, we will be having droves of tourists and it won't do that they find that they could not go up to one of the main landmarks in Penang that is, Penang Hill. Also, how are they going to get around the heritage city of George Town if the public transportation system is in a shamble?
It is just so wrong. So, to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, I think it is time that you stop pointing fingers and start working on solutions. Preferably NOW. And please, DON'T place any bets on help from the federal government because NONE is forthcoming.