Penang Hill cable car project: RFP out next month

File pic. For illustration purposes only.

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government, through Penang Hill Corporation (PHC), is expected to call for a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Penang Hill cable car project next month.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (DAP-Padang Kota) said the project will proceed with cooperation from the private sector after the federal government announced in April that allocation for the project had been canceled.

He said the Penang government had appealed to the Finance Ministry to relook its application for the allocation on June 10 but has yet to receive any feedback.

“The project is expected to take between three and four years to fully complete and be operational,” he said when responding to a question from Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Air Putih) at the state legislative assembly sitting here this morning.

Lim had asked about the status of federal projects approved for Penang in the 2020 Budget, particularly the cable car project.

The RM100 million allocation for the cable car project, aimed at boosting tourism at Penang Hill, was announced during the last 2020 Budget, tabled by Lim, the then finance minister.

However, the federal government on April 3 cancelled the Penang Hill cable car project worth RM100 million.

On the status of federal projects for Penang, Chow said some 167 projects were approved in the 2020 Budget until Aug 2, at a cost of RM14.9 billion.

He added that, of the total, 126 are new projects at a cost of RM10.52 billion while 41 are continuation projects at a cost of RM4.38 billion. A total of 148 are physical projects while 19 are non-physical projects.

He further explained that some 25 projects have been completed, 122 projects are on schedule, 13 projects are in the planning stage, and six projects have been delayed.

When tabling the state’s 2021 Budget on Monday, Chow had announced a RM14.11 million allocation for the Penang Hill development.

The state, he added, will continue to implement projects such as the Penang Hill visitors’ gallery, upgrading of the Astaka Bukit Bendera building, and restoration projects for state-owned heritage bungalows such as Woodside, Convalescent and Fernhill.

The state will also upgrade infrastructure such as the Viaduct Road and the area between Lower Tunnel to Claremont.

Chow had also said that the state has already implemented several projects on the hills such as upper station upgrading works, slope stabilisation works, installation of an anti-climb fence along the train tracks, and a traffic management system.