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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Thousands go for one last ride on Penang's ferries

 


Thousands of visitors made a beeline to ride the Penang ferry on the last day of its service.

Both the Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda ferry terminal in George Town and the Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim terminal in Butterworth were packed with cars and people queuing since before 8am.

"We wanted to ride the ferry and have been waiting for almost an hour. I want them (wife and family) to cherish the memory of riding the iconic ferry because my child has never been on it before," said a teacher from Perak when met on the ferry today.

For Penang local Soon Yong Khoon, 40, he took leave from work in order to bring his wife, son, and mother for one last ride on the ferry.

The insurance agent said although he often used the ferry previously, this last experience was different and special.

"As a local, of course I’m sad because the iconic ferry is the state’s heritage and I hope that it will return to service one day in the future,” he said.

The Transport Ministry previously stated that the ferry service's "modernisation phase" would begin with the introduction of three water buses for passengers on Jan 1.

This would be followed by two transporters that would only ferry two-wheeled vehicles, such as motorcycles and bicycles, that will begin operations in 2022.

On Dec 17, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz told the Dewan Rakyat that RM30 million had been allocated to modernise the ferry service. The funds would be channeled through two payments in 2021 and 2022.

As a temporary measure, the ministry said that Penang Port Sdn Bhd would prepare two fast passenger boats to ferry passengers as well as use the Prasarana-owned ferry service to ferry two-wheeled vehicles in an effort to help the transition process to the new vessels.

Bernama

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