What’s up Penang? Jam has worsened.

traffic-georgetownby Charles Tan

I was back in Penang just last weekend for a Toastmasters function. I arrived around 12 noon and after the second bridge, there was a slight jam in the Bayan Baru area. It must be the half-day working day on Saturday. My function was in town and I was travelling from my brother’s home in Sungai Ara. Right after Jelutong expressway, everything came to a slow crawl. Jam at 630pm? Perhaps everyone is going to town area for dinner?

During the dinner, I was talking to a close friend who asked me how’s KL’s jam. I told her that based on the place where I stay and the time I travel, I have not really felt the impact of the jams. She said, that’s good because in Penang, she could feel the jams everyday. I told her I felt the same and these days every morning, the radio deejay would talk about jams and one of the places would be Penang’s first bridge. Yet, what I understand was also that the Penang second bridge continue to be under-utilised thus far. Why is this so?

Perhaps whatever is being planned in Batu Kawan can be pushed for a faster completion. Then, some of the huge

population at this part of the island can move over and relieve the two-lane roads off some of the cars which are increasing like crazy while the road networks remain almost the same. There’s the Penang Transport Masterplan but as at now, even the Project Delivery Partner has not yet been chosen. As for the tunnel and all those additional roads etc, it will only be ready in 2025 or so as per what I read in the newspaper and online. Seriously, I am not sure how long can Penang continue to sustain this growth in the number of cars.

If we look at the number of new projects within say Tanjung Tokong or Paya Terubong, some of us may note the daunting number of units which have been proposed, planned and in the process of construction. I can only hope that the state government does more and faster. Yes, moving some of the huge population growth within the island to mainland is really a very important agenda. Of course, based on the jams currently, it is still nowhere near the typical KL jams in LDP or Federal Highway. However, when the gridlock starts, it would be tough trying to ‘unlock’ it. Cheers.

>> This opinion article comes courtesy of my friend, Charles, the founder of kopiandproperty.com. He is popular for sharing his thought on property investment mostly based on his own 12 years experience as well as from all the readings and conversations with property gurus in the industry. (Source)

  1. antidote
    July 12th, 2015 at 18:57 | #1

    Incorrect timeline, tbc=to be completed

    12km paired-road from Jalan Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang, tbc by 2018
    4.6km bypass between Lebuhraya Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu and Bandar Baru Air Itam, tbc by 2019
    4.2km bypass from Gurney Drive to Lebuhraya Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu, tbc by 2021
    6.5km Penang-Butterworth undersea tunnel, tbc by 2025

  2. Jason
    July 13th, 2015 at 12:22 | #2

    Politically, nothing can be done as far as the federal government is not given any green light to the state government to implement the mass transport system.

    Even applying a public bus transport license also need the federal government consent.

  3. IsaacTan
    July 13th, 2015 at 14:49 | #3

    I think federal gov also giving limited fund to Penang that leave LGE limited option to seek for own funding in order to develop Penang. The easiest and fastest way was to sell land to developer and gather the $$ to develop Penang but this resulted penang’s housing price to increase. Another way was to attract investor to invest in Penang but the result might not be so soon. Moreover political instability also another factor to consider for those interested to invest. For Penang to develop further, improving the infrastructure is a must. Hopefully as what the price said ” put personal interest aside but prioritize Malaysian interest”.

  4. Liulian Hood
    July 13th, 2015 at 16:19 | #4


    Well, actually this is a very simple problem to solve. Personally I don’t think building roads is a good way of making Penang a better place to live.

    And you got it damn right when you said “The easiest and fastest way….but this resulted penang’s housing price to increase”.

    We should not pursue this route of building more roads, as it will be a big burden for the people of Penang, and in the end, counter productive.

  5. RealSimple
    July 13th, 2015 at 17:50 | #5

    If you find that the likes of Tanjung Bungah and Paya Terubong are too congested and they really are in my view, then the solution is really simple – don’t stay there.

  6. Chris
    July 14th, 2015 at 10:12 | #6

    There’s another problem: us.

    There are a lot of things we can do to help but unfortunately most of us are selfish. Deep down inside we want others to make the sacrifice so we can have it easy. Other than public transport, the obvious things we can do are car pool/switch to two wheels.

    What actually happened is that we came out with tons of excuses like car pooling is inconvenient, scooters are too dangerous, don’t want to sweat cycling to work etc. We want it “our way” and hope the government/other people make the changes so we could do it the way we want.

    Am I guilty? Yes. I drive a car, alone, clogging up Jln Sultan Azlan Shah everyday. The wife won’t car pool due to different working hours, again, drive to work alone in another car. I’m not alone either, I see tons of other one person-car on the way to work.

    If all of us can only make that sacrifice, we would be better off in the long run. Less pollution less stress more money in wallet. I might just switch to a scooter in the near future, it’s one car less on the road.

  7. LostSoul
    July 14th, 2015 at 10:31 | #7

    Haha thanks for your pointing out, I’m proud that I’m motor rider, although my parent do available a car for me, because my point of view is by riding motor does has few advantages, motor rider can avoid jam, save your time while on the road, save your wallet to petrol, easy find parking and low maintenance compare to car. But the disadvantages were worry of bad weather, can’t carry large and much items, wear helmet so you hairstyle like =.=” and last the most important is risk your life. I think after you saw what I’m listed, you will revert back your thinking to drive car in future LOL.

  8. Chris
    July 14th, 2015 at 12:45 | #8


    Thanks to you riding a motorcycle then. I’ve seen a lot of people complain that motorcyclist think they rule the road, and the world is a better place without them. I just shoot back tell them to imagine what it would be like if every single motorcycle turned into a car. It will be an island-wide gridlock.

    I have been thinking of switching for over a year. Every time I see bad weather and motor accident it discourages me, but every time I’m stuck in a Friday evening rush, especially when there’s an accident on the bridge, that fire starts back up again.

    I don’t plan to ditch my car, it’s paid off and in good condition. Scooter for commute and tapao food at hawker seems like a smart choice, plus I’m not the kiasi type :)

  9. Unker Ho
    July 15th, 2015 at 10:32 | #9

    Chris :

    Chris you have a very strong point there.
    Many people wants other people to move away, go live in Batu Kawan, go stay in Mainland…. but looking at the comments in this site… you can see so many of those “the island is for me” kind of people… condemning those who stay in mainland.. laugh at their investments in mainland… say mainland has nothing.. no development, etc etc….

    When a young engineer working in Bayan Lepas is considering buying an apartment in mainland because that’s what he can afford to buy…. the relatives, friends and sometimes even parents will go.. “Aiyo~~ Pak Hai where can stay one? So far? Not safe.. full of gangster… house price cannot increase one!!”

    So what to do? Slave away… combine income with GF/Wife and buy yet another expensive condo in Sg Ara, Bayan Lepas, etc.

    So when problems like traffic congestion happens, who do the people blame? State government 😀

  10. small unit
    July 15th, 2015 at 11:01 | #10

    unker ho really uncle? or child? no any property investment exp at all, go do some homework before u talk, I ady earn 400k over 3 years by selling mainland properties

  11. Chris
    July 15th, 2015 at 12:59 | #11

    This is a kind reminder for everyone to properly read what someone posted, instead of reading what you thought you read and start bashing/personal attack (against guideline).

    I believe Unker Ho merely mentioned the stereotype thinking of some people on the Island looking down on mainland properties, not that he thought of that himself.

  12. ng
    July 15th, 2015 at 13:07 | #12

    Agree with Chris. And someone make me feels like he want to show off how pro he investing. This article is about traffic congestion and nothing about property price comparison/investment and etc.

  13. Go4mainland
    July 15th, 2015 at 15:02 | #13

    Yes. There are many people that asking others to move to mainland while they are talking like they own the island. At the end, no one move to mainland and continue to squeeze in the island.

    Who to blame? Themselves.

    People in KL and Johor can drive 1 hour to go for work and pay for tolls. In penang, just a small bridge and people keep on complaining.

    Island people continue to live in their lovely land
    Mainland people continue to live in their lovely landed property.

    Welcome to bash me.

  14. Chris
    July 22nd, 2015 at 09:08 | #14

    Bashing isn’t good, don’t bait people to do it haha!

    I always believe that we should not complain about something that we are not part of the solution. Eg, I shouldn’t complain about traffic if I’m not actively trying to fix the problem myself (car pool, motorcycle) and only know how to point fingers.

    I also believe that the world doesn’t revolve around me, it’s the other way around. Some people adapt/change because they want something they do not have; Some people adapt/change because what they have is no longer what they want.

    Just like Penang, some outsiders moved here because Penang is attractive. Some people move away from the Island because they wanted low density affordable landed property and the Island no longer offers that. Fair enough. But it’s just ridiculous if you want the other way around, like you want that MNC to open up in your small town just because you study engineering and can’t get a proper job, or want all the fancy new things in Penang to go away because you prefer the traditional Penang lifestyle that you’re used to 30 years ago.

  15. JanL
    July 23rd, 2015 at 23:15 | #15

    That jammed meh?

  1. No trackbacks yet.
(You can also Login/Register to submit your comment using unique ID)

Comment Guidelines
  • Avoid political discussion.
  • Comments with inappropriate wordings or personal attack may be moderated or deleted.
  • Developer must register before comment. All anonymous comments claimed to be from developer without registration will be deleted.
  • All advertisement in the comment will be deleted. Please contact us for advertising details.

To advertise your property in this page under "Related Properties for Sale/Rent":
 1. Submit your property at PenangPropertySale.com, it's FREE!
 (Please do not advertise your property in the comment)