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Penang split over transport infrastructure plan

Passengers on a bus in George Town, Penang. The state government wants to build an LRT system.

GEORGE TOWN, Malaysia -- Behind the hoardings of the abandoned colonial-era market at Sia Boey in George Town, capital of Malaysia's Penang state, two workers are digging a hole close to an old canal overlooked by a terrace of derelict shop-houses.

Sia Boey lies on the border of George Town's World Heritage-listed old city, and is at the center of an increasingly acrimonious battle over a 46 billion ringgit ($10.9 billion) Penang state government plan to modernize the state's transport network.

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