It must be made clear that Penang Forum is not against the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP). In fact it was civil society that recommended this idea to the newly elected Pakatan government in 2009. In January 2009, the state government established the Penang Transport Council (PTC) consisting of almost a dozen professionals from civil society. The PTC among other things worked on the terms of reference for engaging a transport consultant to produce a comprehensive transport master plan.
In May 2011, Halcrow, a consultancy specialised in the provision of planning, design and management services for infrastructure development were appointed to deliver a RM3.2m study (in partnership with AJC and Singapore cruise consultants) to provide a transport plan to cover a period of twenty years (2010-2030). However, before the Halcrow Plan even began, the Penang state government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Beijing Urban Construction Group Co.Ltd (BUCG) to build a package of three roads and an undersea tunnel worth about RM6.3 billion. BUCG joined with Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd and Juteras Sdn Bhd, to form the Zenith BUCG Consortium.
The Halcrow Plan was completed in December 2012 and officially adopted by the Penang state government in March 2013 as the blueprint for implementation.
In August 2014, a Request for Proposal (RFP) was called for a Project Delivery Partner (PDP) to submit proposals for the delivery of the Halcrow Plan, manage the implementation and to guarantee its timely and acceptable completion. The fee will be a percentage of the total project cost (assumed 6%).
In February 2015, six bidders submitted their proposals using the Halcrow Plan as the basis. In August 2015, the SRS consortium who submitted an alternative proposal was selected to be the prospective PDP. The SRS Consortium is made up of Gamuda (60%) an engineering, property and construction company, Ideal Properties (20%) and Loh Phoy Yen (20%), both local property developers. There is very little information about Loh Phoy Yen.
Starting in December 2015, the state government and SRS Consortium began giving a series of briefing sessions to stakeholder groups and members of public on the alternative proposal. The Penang state government plans to sign the PDP agreement with SRS by the end of 2016.