TRAFFIC on the Penang Bridge has become so congested that those living on the mainland sometimes preferred to spend the night at a hotel on the island if they have to take an early flight out.
“Something has to be done. Traffic has gotten so bad, especially with the ongoing widening works.
“I know of people who have 11am flights but would rather pay for a hotel room than to take the risk of crossing the bridge or taking the ferry,” Datuk Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid (BN – Penanti) told the House.
“Currently all the toll booths are open, so what happens is that there is a bottleneck jam when the cars get onto the bridge.
“The situation is like a python trying to swallow an elephant,” he said, adding that the ferry services must be improved.
He also urged the state to ensure that local sub-contractors benefited from the second Penang bridge project.
The project funded by a RM2.8bil loan from China and built under a joint-venture between UEM Buil-ders Bhd and China Harbour Engi-neering Co Ltd should involve Pe-nangites, he said.
“We were made to understand that this massive project will provide opportunities for the locals but we have yet to see any Penang-based company being hired for the job,” he said.
He also noted that while the Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) was a ‘sophisticated’ project, it must also provide affordable housing for all communities.
“This is a project that will no doubt benefit future generations but the state should not forget its commitment to the people,” he said.
Abdul Jalil also said that holding hands, sitting on laps and kissing in public were not acceptable here.
Couples openly displaying their affections in full view were a bad influence on children, he said.
“You can see ‘Europe in Asia’ when you visit shopping malls like The Summit in Bukit Mertajam.
“I cannot even take my children out shopping to some malls because I don’t want to expose them to this kind of ‘free shows’.
“We want our kids to grow up with good moral values,” he said.
He also urged the authorities to closely monitor the activities of foreign workers as they were proving to be a ‘challenge’ to local businesses.
“Our night markets used to comprise mainly local traders but nowadays, you see these foreigners hawking their wares at very low prices and the locals just cannot compete.
“These foreigners can afford to undercut the locals because they are single and live in rented premises with 40 people under one roof,” he said.
Abdul Jalil also asked the Road Transport Department (JPJ) and the police to come down hard on lorry drivers in his constituency.
“They have been acting like ‘kings of the road’, speeding and over-loading their vehicles.
“Roads are damaged and become dusty while pedestrians risk being knocked down.
“It has gotten to a point where the villagers themselves have erected signboards warning the lorry drivers that they would be beaten up and their mirrors smashed if they continue to flout the law,” he said.
http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?f ... &sec=north