Gamuda for Penang 2030
The high-level networking conference, Penang International Business and Investment Summit (PIBIS), brought together government and private organisations to explore business and investment opportunities in the state of Penang.
With its status as a UNESCO heritage city, the state of Penang is one of the most important cultural capitals of Malaysia.
The state is also at the cusp of a digital economic revolution.
With major transportation projects such as the Penang LRT, Pan Island Link Highway and undersea tunnel, the speed and scale of business are set to greatly improve the state’s infrastructure and connectivity.
The event this year was held to discuss Penang 2030: Towards a Holistic Digital Economy and with Gamuda’s very own Deputy Group Managing Director Mohammed Rashdan Mohd Yusof (Danny) as part of the morning panel discussing the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) and Penang South Reclamation (PSR), Penang’s vision towards 2030 is not a far-fetched idea.
With the state fully adopting Industrial Revolution 4.0, it is formulating policies and developing projects to usher in new technologies and innovative companies, addressing questions like: How can Penang balance an ecosystem of rapid urbanisation whilst being in line with its green policies, yet maintain a strong and resilient economy? How does the government ensure vibrant social capital in an age of relentless speed and material productivity?
Gamuda is definitely looking beyond just public transportation.
Technology and infrastructure are also key focuses which will help safety, security and mobility issues.
“Just having an LRT line is not enough. How do you get to the LRT? When you disembark from the LRT, how do you get to your destination? How can you do that reliably?
I foresee a future with autonomous mobility pods that will act as a vehicle of safety, especially for women. That way there is continuity from destination to destination,” Danny said.
As for the Penang South Reclamation (PSR), SRS Consortium will look into the delivery of reclaiming 4,500 acres of land to be divided into three islands.
“We haven’t thought of names yet, but essentially the first island will predominantly be an industrial area to expand the free-trade zone which houses the E&E sector for Penang. The second island will house key services, such as leisure and financial districts. As for the third island, there’ll be more specialised high-end residential areas and perhaps, even theme parks which will be part of a Tourism 2.0 initiative. These are what make up the PSR plans.”
Due to rapid urbanisation, Penang is seen to be running out of land or has run out of developable land.
The objective of PSR is to give a new lease of life to Penang’s land and in turn, economic development.
“You can see that from the traffic congestion, all the developers who try to develop on the hillside often get pushed back by nature because of landslides.
There’s just not enough land and that’s why reclamation is a very much necessary to give Penang that platform for growth, without which Penang will continue to suffer.”
Whilst the PSR will act as a platform for Penang’s growth, it also has to be sustainable and in line with Penang’s green policies.
With this in mind, Gamuda wants to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11: Making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, with hopes of traffic decongestion, providing safer and more reliable transport options and creating more economic opportunities, be it businesses or jobs.
“The idea is to allow more Penangites to come back to the island to explore growth and sustainability.”