Several DAP leaders dubbed ‘forgetful’ in video over Penang ferry service

(The Star) – Several DAP leaders have been taken to task for telling “fairy tales” on Penang’s ferry service that has been replaced with catamarans.

Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, former transport minister Anthony Loke and Jelutong MP RSN Rayer were dubbed “mudah lupa” (forgetful) in a video about the leaders’ flip-flop on the 126-year-old ferry service.

Posted on Berita Kilat’s Facebook page, the video title “Ah Lian ferry fairy tales by DAP” said the original idea to replace the ageing ferries with catamarans and RoRo was decided during Pakatan Harapan’s time.

“On Aug 1,2018, Loke announced in the Dewan Rakyat that RM90mil has been allocated to Prasarana to upgrade Penang ferry terminals and buy new ferries, of which RM21mil was allocated to buy passenger-only ferries.

“Then a year later, in an event where Chow and Loke were seen sitting together, Loke said the ministry planned to turn some of the Penang ferries into tourist ferries carrying only passengers without vehicles.

“He said the catamarans or water taxi services will be introduced. The catamarans can be used to transport passengers.

“Chow also supported the proposal, saying the state welcomes the idea to turn some of the Penang ferries into tourist ferries.

“And since there is a plan to use catamarans, we can consider using ferries that are not involved in active duties as tourist ferries,” it said, adding that Loke’s plans were published in all mainstream and online media.

“So why make noise now?

“Lim Guan Eng, don’t ‘buat tak tahu’ (pretending to be unaware) you’re not aware of Loke’s ferry upgrade proposal,” it said, adding that the allocation had to come from the Finance Ministry, of which Lim was the then minister.

The video also criticised Rayer, who had on July 24,2018, in the Dewan Rakyat, requested the Pakatan government to introduce water taxis or catamarans as a mode of alternative water transport in Penang.

“In Parliament on Nov 19 last year, you said Penangites are very grateful to the Transport Ministry’s announcement that the ministry will introduce and further upgrade ferry services in Penang by introducing the catamarans.

“You also said the catamarans can encourage the influx of outsiders into Penang island.

“You even asked when can services be introduced so that people who commute between Seberang Prai and the mainland every day can enjoy it?

“All these are recorded in the Parliament Hansard and cannot be ‘ferried’ away.

“Now that when Perikatan Nasional takes up Pakatan’s idea of making catamarans as water transport, you start complaining. What lah,” it said.

The video also said that when Chow met the current Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong on Aug 27 last year, he was told the ministry intended to upgrade the ferries as approved during Pakatan’s time.

“Chow didn’t oppose it. So DAP, why make so much noise now?

“Upgrading ferries, buying new catamarans for passengers and RoRo for vehicles, the ideas were yours to begin with, right?” it added.

Lim, who was former Penang chief minister, claimed that the previous Pakatan government had proposed that catamarans be operated parallel with the ferries.

The ferries have been temporarily replaced with fast boats for passengers from Jan 1, while one will be maintained to ferry two-wheelers until the refurbishment of the terminals is complete.

The service will be provided by water buses for passengers and transporter for two-wheelers once the refurbishment is completed.