We hear once again from Mr. Teoh Huey Hooi who comments on July 23 on the following graphic issued by the SRS team with government support. He tells us that “this comparison is obvious, Halcrow just a conceptual guideline, Penang Forum just opposing and did nothing. SRS is the most professional one.”
Interesting interpretation, but let’s have a closer look.
Dear Roger. Glad to see you hanging in there on this. Thanks for sharing. I think it is important. Let’s talk about it
- HALCROW: Yes, the Halcrow report did not take it to the full feasibility and certainly not the pre-engineering phase. All of us who have spent time with the eight main reports are well aware of that.By the way, the Halcrow team did a fine job, though the final adjusted versions have somewhat uncomfortably been distorted by very obvious pressures from the client to accommodate their imposed first round “Big Bang” projects, the famous three highways and one undersea tunnel that the state government had already negotiated — which to me stood out when reading the final volume — this strange odor.
- TECHNICAL COMPETENCES: And I hope too that you have had a chance to read the institutional Plan volume which very kindly but firmly made the point that local government in Penang and their chosen consultants did not have the technical capabilities necessary to take the project its next step. Apparently the government did not take this into account in the last three years, which is a real pity because it is just this that is separating us today. This matter is so important that I shall shortly prepare a shortened version of the high points and recommendations of that particular report, since the full volume takes more time to absorb than many of us have available for this. And this being only one of the eight volumes.
- SRS CONTRIBUTIONS: Now on to the SRS contributions. Have you seen the 20 volumes? I assume you have studied them from your comments here. I have not so I cannot comment on them. But when they are made available — as has been many times promised — I will give them my full attention. (I already have my short list of 101 measures, modes, strategies, implementations, etc. that I will be assiduously looking for. Once I have had my good look, I will write up my own analysis as I see them from a strictly scientific perspective.
- PENANG FORUM. I think you are more than a bit hasty when you so succinctly say “Penang Forum just opposing and did nothing”. Come on now Roger, you know very well that that is not true. What the Penang forum is calling for here is for a much-needed, full function, independently reviewed Transport Master Plan to build on the good work of the healthcare team which has been ignored for the last three years while the state in his consultants were looking at their Big Bang menu of projects, without apparently tying them together in a full plan to be made available for public inspection and comment every step along the way. The Penang Forum asks for a plan that is Better, Cheaper adn Faste — and thn goes on to provide some first ideas and clues as ot how this might be acheived. It is by no means a transport master plan, ratjher it is a reasoned cll for one.
So there you have it for today Roger, I look forward to continuing these conversations but first I have to have a few sweet hours with the 20 volumes of SRS report that Mr. Chan has promised us on so many occasions now.
Finally on a more personal note, I hope very much that you will be coming back to Penang to put your engineering skills to work for this good cause. They need more talented people like you and it will be a great way for you to kick off your professional career.
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Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at https://goo.gl/9CJXTh and @ericbritton