Does Guan Eng want the ferry or the tunnel?
There used to be scores of ferries in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang. A journey from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu would take three days and three nights. And sometimes you would be stuck a whole night at these ferries because of congestion, or even days because of floods.
Travelling the East Coast then was a nightmare and a two-hour meeting in Kuala Lumpur would require a week off from work. Today, all those ferries have been replaced with bridges and no one shouts about betrayal or sabotage like what DAP and Lim Guan Eng are doing. In fact, people in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang welcome the termination of the scores of ferries scattered all over the East Coast.
Guan Eng accuses MCA of betraying Penangites over ferry issue
(MMO) – DAP’s Lim Guan Eng has accused MCA leaders of betraying Penangites with their intention to terminate Penang’s ferry services.
The former finance minister said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong was lying when he accused Lim of being the one who made the decision to terminate and replace the ferry service with catamarans.
He pointed out that former transport minister Anthony Loke had also denied making such a decision when he was a minister at that time.
“Can Wee show proof when and where both of us had decided to terminate the Penang ferry service? This is patently false,” he said in a statement released today.
Lim, who is also the former Penang chief minister, stressed that he and Loke had repeatedly said they were not opposed to catamarans being introduced as an addition to the existing ferry service.
“We acknowledge its cost and difficulty of finding suitable replacement and that is why we insisted that the few ferries remaining be allowed to operate,” he said.
He said the catamarans should be operating in parallel with the existing ferry services similar to the practise in other countries such as Hong Kong and Canada.
Lim said Penang Port Commission chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng had announced the decision to terminate the ferry services was made based on statistics and economics and not emotions or politics.
“Tan has even lamented in the Chinese press at the U-turn announced by Tengku Zafrul in Parliament continuing the iconic Penang ferries and even questioned whether Tengku Zafrul had made a wrong decision,” he said.
“Has MCA not given up hope of terminating Penang’s ferry services?” he asked.
Lim was referring to the current finance minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz’s announcement yesterday that the Penang Port Commission has been given the nod to continue the state’s ferry services, labelling it as iconic and a heritage draw.
Tengku Zafrul said the previous government had approved a RM30 million allocation for PPSB to take over the ferry services and confirmed that the sum will be paid in two annual installments.
Lim said this issue points to the stark difference between MCA and Pakatan Harapan in Penang where the latter is committed to the well-being of the people, its unique heritage and the opinion of the people.
“I will ensure that PH stay vigilant against the dirty politics of MCA and ensure that the Penang ferry services can be saved come January 1, 2021,” he said.