Transport minister insists Penang ferry service will continue despite terminal renovations

Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 21, 2020. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 21, 2020. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25 — Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong today denied that the Penang ferry services will be temporarily suspended from September 1 for planned renovations at its terminal.

“There is no suspension. It will operate as usual,” Wee reportedly told Free Malaysia Today, adding that he had also informed Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow of the matter on August 17.

“I met with him in Parliament and I said that the ministry will let the ferry operations continue. Ismail Sabri was there when I spoke to him,” Wee said, referring senior minister in charge of security, and defence minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Wee was quoted saying that he was also looking forward to meeting Chow on Thursday to discuss various transportation issues in the state.

Earlier today, Chow alleged that the Transport Ministry had intended to suspend the Penang’s ferry operations for three months from September 1, adding that the ministry’s secretary-general notified the Penang state secretary of the planned suspension ostensibly to allow for renovations at the terminal.

Chow said that the state government was informed about two weeks ago that the renovation work is in preparation to accommodate new ferries.

He said the ministry also planned to provide shuttle services as an alternative during the three months.

Yesterday, ferry operations were suspended as all four ferries in operation required repairs.

Rapid Ferry, in a statement, said two of the ferries — the Pulau Talang and the Pulau Kapas — have been out of commission for over a month due to urgently needed engine maintenance and miscellaneous repairs that could take around six weeks as parts must be imported from Sweden and Ireland.

One ferry — the Pulau Angsa — resumed operations today while the Pulau Undan is expected to be operational by August 27.

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