GEORGE TOWN: Penang has urged Putrajaya to put on hold its plans to upgrade ferry terminals in the state.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the Transport Ministry was planning to suspend the ferry services for three months beginning Sept 1, to make way for upgrading works to accommodate new ferry services.
He said state secretary Datuk Abdul Razak Jaafar was informed of the matter by the ministry's secretary-general Datuk Isham Ishak in mid August, just two weeks before the suspension was set to take place.
He said there was no proper contingency plan being put in place to ensure connectivity between the island and mainland was not disrupted, "For us, this is too sudden. There need to be a solid plan to presented to us. (Right now) We don't even know what type of new ferries coming in, whether it is catamaran or passenger-type vessels.
"Hence, we urge the ministry to consider postponing the ferry services suspension until a proper presentation has been made on the overall plan and operations," he said in a press conference today.
On Monday, the iconic Penang Ferry service was suspended until Wednesday for emergency repair works involving the existing ferries. A notice was posted near the entrance of the ferry terminal in Weld Quay.
Rapid Ferry head Osman Amir had said that the three-day service suspension was necessary to address technical engine problems afflicting the existing ferry's.
However, repairs on one of the ferries concluded earlier and resumed operation today.
Meanwhile, Chow said state officials will meet with Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong on Thursday.
The meeting will discuss various transportation related issues in Penang including the Penang International Airport (PIA) expansion project and light rail transit (LRT).
Sumber: New Straits Times