The ‘jumping cost’ of Penang transportation

Lim Sian See

Penang transport projects must be really expensive.

And worse, the cost seems to jump every so often.

In April 2015, the planned Bayan Lepas LRT was said to be 17.5km and cost RM4.5 billion.

Then in May 2016, the LRT is now 30km and was reported to cost RM7 billion.

And yesterday the 30km LRT now cost RM8.4 billion – which is more expensive than the Klang Valley’s LRT3 of RM9 billion for 37km on a per km basis.

More strangely, Chow Kon Yeow recently said that the Penang Govt had approved RM17 billion of projects

“What have been approved and will be given the green light to start are the Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) projects, which are just about RM17 billion,” said Chow to reporters on 20th June 2017.

Subtracting RM8.4b for the LRT from the RM17b will give RM8.6b for the PIL1


The PIL1 is just 19.5km long. Hence the cost would be a massive RM441mil per km, which is easily the most expensive highway by far in Malaysia – more than double of the fully elevated DUKE highway which DAP had said is too expensive.

I am not sure if Chow meant that PIL 2 (8km) and PIL 2A (3km) are also the RM17 billion.

But even if it is, PIL1 + PIL2 + PIL2A would total 30.5km.

Thus, the RM8.6 billion for 30.5 km would still give a construction cost of RM282mil per km – which is still RM100mil per km more than DUKE.

Perhaps some Penang ADUN should ask specifically what the PIL1 project cost is and why the LRT price suddenly jumped RM1.4 billion in one year?

Also, please ask about the price of the “reports”.


2015 LRT cost RM4.5b (17.5-km):…/penang-to-get-first-lrt…

2016 LRT cost RM7b (30km):…/the-…/20160516/281552290082108

2017 LRT cost RM8.4b (30km):…/penang-denies-rm24-bill…/

RM17 billion approved:…/penang-govt-explains-alleged-incre…

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