Prime Minister Datuk Seri Utama Anwar Ibrahim graced the ground breaking ceremony of the Penang Hill Bukit Bendera Cable Car project earlier today. 

Present to welcome him was Penang Chief Minister YAB Chow Kon Yeow along with Tourism Minister YB Dato Seri Tiong King Sing and a host of dignitaries. 

The 2.73km cable car system budgeted at RM250 million is expected to be completed by 2026

It is undertaken by Hartasuma Sdn Bhd represented by its Group Executive Director Tan Sri Ravindran Menon.

In his address, Anwar said that the construction of the project involves minimum cutting of trees to ensure no adverse environmental impact.

“All necessary approvals have been obtained and this project is environmentally friendly with minimal impact” , said the Prime Minister in his address. 

He later joined hands with Chow and Menon to shovel up some gravel to mark the ground breaking ceremony.

The new cable car will utilise the advanced Doppelmayr system from Austria.

Meanwhile, Chow in his speech said that the project will further spur the state’s tourism industry. 

“The project will include a 700 vehicle capacity car park, Garden Station, Turning Station and the Hill Station. I also thank all parties involved in this project in order for a smooth flow. Among them are the Penang Island City Council, Hindu Endowment Board for their support. 

“Despite the tourism industry being badly affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it has now shown remarkable recovery. Among them is the 64.5 percent increase in arrival numbers of tourists at the Penang International Airport.

“The largest in this segment is the Chinese tourists who account for a 370 percent increase in the first quarter of 2024 via several direct flights from China. We are also expecting direct flights from July 27, 2024”, added Chow.

He also added that the cable cars can transport 1,000 passengers every hour which will supplement the current funicular rail system which is currently in place.