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Monday, June 12, 2017

Report: Putrajaya to take over Penang ferry service for RM1

Penang's iconic ferry service will be sold to Prasarana Malaysia Bhd, the federal government's public transportation agency for a token sum of RM1.
According to Star Online, Penang Port Sdn Bhd, a company owned by Seaport Terminal (Johor) Sdn Bhd which is linked to tycoon Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, would pay a large annual sum to Prasarana over the next few years in view that the ferry service was a loss-making business.
The report, quoting anonymous sources, stated that since the opening of the Penang Bridge in 1985, each ferry would have incurred a loss of at least RM700 for every trip.
The report also said that the transport ministry had refused Penang Port's proposal to scrap the vehicular ferry service within two or three years after the takeover.
"There are too much tourism and heritage value in Penang’s vehicular ferry service," the source reportedly said.
The Penang Port Commission (PPC), the regulator of Penang Port, told the daily that the deal had been finalised and was awaiting cabinet's approval.
"Most of the time, outstation cars wait for our ferries.
"Since visitors to Penang love taking the ferry so much, Prasarana will look into improving the experience for them," he said.

The report said that Penang Port's new owners hoped to list the company on the stock exchange, but was being held back by losses due to the ferry service.
Based on images posted on Prasarana's Facebook page for Penang Rapid, the ferry service would be called "rapidFerry".
Presently, Penang Port operates a fleet of seven ferries. The last two ferries were commissioned in 2002 while the two oldest two ferries were commissioned in 1975.
The ferry service has been in operation since 1920.- Mkini

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