Principle 5: Evidence-based policy and far-sighted leadership
Good policies should be evidence-based and analytically, not politically, driven. The crux of the problem in Penang, like many other small cities, is there are too many cars, with inadequate public transportation, competing for scarce resources. Improvement of public transportation must be accompanied by proven means to decrease the number of LOVs (low occupancy vehicles), increase HOVs (high occupancy vehicles), and public ridership. Such a strategy requires our leadership to adopt a new paradigm and then to communicate and educate our public so they understand this is on only possible way out.
Friday April 29, 1988
Just weeks before the monorail is due to open, there still is no clear reason why it was selected over other systems. The documents reveal that examination of other systems, particularly the light-rail proposal, was cosmetic and never given what one former minister called "a fair go". The monorail was always a fait accompli.
The decision to build the monorail over other forms of rail (e.g. light rail) was in the eyes of many a political decision. Light rail would have been $20 million cheaper to build, service more passengers per hour and cost 40% less for a ticket, but the monorail system prevailed.