As the New Straits Times today succintly put it, "[t]he long suffering people of Penang, held ransom by taxi drivers and poor bus service, will get an alternative — the monorail.", the monorail and the second bridge project have certainly been overdue.
A businessman, Swaran Singh, told the New Straits Times that the "people have been tolerating on the traffic jams on the existing Penang bridge for the last ten years".
All point to the same direction, the governments have been slow to response to the needs of the people in Penang.
As usual, we will see that soon after the Prime Minister is highly praised for his vision on the Penang development, the Gerakan will launch a campaign to praise its state government led by Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon for bringing development to Penang.
This is imperative for the Gerakan. Koh Tsu Koon's 16-year record as Chief Minister for Penang since 1990 has been dismal compared to his predecessor, Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.
Chong Eu was proclaimed the leader who had brought new lease of life to Penang by bringing in the electronic industry after Penang lost its status as the free port in the 1970s'. The Komtar skyscraper and the Penang bridge have been known as the landmarks for Chong Eu's contribution to the state. They were the contents and missions of the Gerakan's election manifesto accomplished.
The subsequent question is: what has Tsu Koon done for Penang for the past 16 years?
Tsu Koon or the Gerakan did not pledge anything concrete to the people in the past election since 1990. As such, they did not achieve anything concrete.
The Gerakan has to rely heavily on the monorail and the second bridge to boost Tsu Koon's image in Penang not only because Tsu Koon needs to be seen to go over to the federal cabinet with a big bang after Keng Yaik's retirement but more importantly both the projects will help the Gerakan retain its power in Penang considering the poor performance the Gerakan has in Penang under Tsu Koon's leadership.