Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Penang Traffic Forced Sultan To Take A Walk

The Star - July 3, 2007:-

Kedah is sore with the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) because of its oversight that forced Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah to walk 2km to the Batu Kawan Stadium for the FA Cup final on Saturday night.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mahd-zir Khalid said FAM should have foreseen the anticipated massive jam and make the necessary ar-rangements for invited dignitaries to arrive at the destination without any hassle.

“We are deeply hurt because Tuanku, who was invited by FAM to give away prizes, had to walk such a long distance to the sta-dium,” he told a press conference yesterday.

About 20,000 vehicles were caught in a jam on the road leading to Batu Kawan Stadium as 50,000 people turned up to watch the match between Perlis and Ke-dah. The capacity for the stadium in South Seberang Prai is only 37,000. It took the Sultan 45 minutes to walk to the stadium.

Even the Regent of Perlis, Tuan-ku Syed Faizzudin Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Jamalullail, had to ride pillion on a police motorcycle.

Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon had apologised to the Sultan of Kedah for having to leave his car and walk to the stadium.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rashid Abdullah said many spectators left their cars on the road when they could not enter the stadium.

“Because of these cars, other vehicles were unable to move in or out,” he said after launching the upgraded railway gate near Bandar Tasek Mutiara yesterday.

Penang Traffic Management Committee chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan said the organisers should have made alternative transport arrangements as there were no public buses servicing the route.

Penang police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Koh Hong Sun visited the stadium at 4pm yesterday but he left without speaking to the press.

Is there no end to Penang's miserable traffic and transportation problems? This is not the first time massive jams have happened at this stadium but it is NOT surprising anyway looking at the replies given by our present state govt officials...