GEORGE TOWN, Dec 31 — The Penang exco for tourism and creative economy Yeoh Soon Hin has proposed that the existing ferries be refurbished so that they can continue carrying passengers and cars across the Penang north channel.
The Penang lawmaker said the iconic ferries with a 126 years of history are not only a living heritage for Penang but also a form of national heritage for Malaysia.
He called on the federal government and the Penang Port Commission to seek a balance for the ferry operations by allowing the existing ferries to continue their legacy.
“The Penang ferry service is not just a mode of transport, as it also carries precious memories of Penangites and Malaysians,” he said in a statement issued today.
He said the federal government can consider refurbishing the ferries or purchasing new ferries of the same design to preserve the experience of taking the iconic ferries.
“I hope the federal government and Penang Port Commission will listen to the pleas of the public, to allow the Penang ferry services to also accommodate cars commuting between the island and mainland so as to reduce the traffic load on the First Penang Bridge” he added.
He added that the Penang ferry played an important role in promoting tourism in Penang.
Penang Port Sdn Bhd will officially take over operations of the Penang ferries tomorrow and the existing ferries will be decommissioned except for one, Pulau Angsa.
Pulau Angsa will continue to carry passengers on bicycles and motorcycles across the channel while foot passengers will be diverted to take the fast boats from the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal.
New water buses and vehicle transporters are expected to arrive in 18 months, in July 2022, to carry foot passengers and those on motorcycles and bicycles across the channel.
There will no longer be vehicular ferries for four-wheelers.
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