GEORGE TOWN, Jan 20 – The long-awaited multi-storey car park at the bottom of Penang Hill here was open today, albeit unceremoniously, no thanks to an electricity disruption. The disruption occurred a few minutes after the opening ceremony when Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng took the maiden drive up the seven-storey car park while reporters used the elevator.
A group of reporters, together with the chief minister’s officer, was trapped in the elevator for about three minutes when power was disrupted. Asked to comment, Lim expressed shock over the power disruption. He later gave an assurance that it had nothing to do with the lift as it was just a power cut. Later, Penang Development Corporation (PDC) general manager Datuk Rosli Jaafar said he was told the fuse went off and caused the power disruption.
The car park made headlines in 2011 and was re-built because the original building completed in March that year had failed to get a certificate of completion and compliance due to its poor design which included steep ramps and parking bays which earned the nickname ‘Kancil car park’ (only for Perodua Kancil). Earlier, Lim announced a RM2 parking rate for the first hour and RM1 each for subsequent hours. The motorcycle park is free of charge.
The chief minister said the RM11.49 million car park which was constructed and funded by PDC, comprised six levels of parking space, commercial floor and one level for office space. “The new car park has facilities for a total of 306 parking lots, 182 lots for motorcycles and five special parking lots for the physically-challenged,” he said during his opening speech here today.
The project under the tourism ministry began in 2011, at an initial cost of RM5 million. However, it was besotted with numerous problems, leading to its demolition, re-designing and re-building in 2012. This also resulted in the cost of building the car park, which should have been operational in 2012, to increase to over RM11 million.