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Malaysians who love Penang’s iconic ferries will never forget MCA’s betrayal

Press Statement
29th December 2020

To Wee Ka Siong : In our Final Goodbye On Thursday 31st December, Malaysians Who Love The Iconic Penang Ferries Will Neither Forget Nor Forgive.

MCA claims that the decision to terminate the iconic Penang ferries was driven by statistics and economics, rather than emotions or politics. Clearly Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong is all emotional and playing dirty politics in trying to cover up his lies – by making personal attacks against me for opposing the termination of the iconic Penang ferry service.

There is no logic to Wee’s allegation that I am behaving as if I am the Chief Minister just because I publicly raised the issue of this important 126-year old Penang ferry service. Is it wrong for a Member of Parliament and State Assemblyperson from Penang to speak up on behalf of Penangites, particularly when the ferry terminal on the mainland is located in my Parliamentary constituency of Bagan?

Source: Projek MM

Wee cannot show proof that either the Pakatan Harapan government or myself had agreed to terminate and replace the iconic Penang ferry service which carries cars and people, with catamaran vessels that only carry motorcycles and people. He had tried to drag in former Transport Minister Anthony Loke and even my sister, Senator Lim Hui Ying, as agreeing to the termination of the ferry services. Both Anthony Loke and Hui Ying had vehemently denied Wee’s desperate attempts to divide DAP leaders with false allegations.

Is Wee also saying that Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul bin Tengku Abdul Aziz was lying in Parliament on 17 December? Zafrul had confirmed that the Finance Ministry under me had stipulated the continuation of the iconic ferry service as a condition for approving the RM30 million cash grant to Penang Port Sdn Bhd to run the ferry service.

Wee claimed that replacing the iconic ferry service with catamarans is a more practical move to protect the safety of Penangites. Let me reiterate that the Pakatan Harapan government was never opposed to adding on catamarans provided that the existing ferry service is maintained.

We acknowledge its cost and difficulty in finding suitable replacement and spare parts. New engines can be installed on the iconic ferries or 3D manufacturing can produce the spare parts no longer in production. That is why we insisted that the 2 or 3 ferries remaining be allowed to operate. In other words, the catamarans will be operating in parallel with the existing ferry services as is practiced by many countries such as Hong Kong or Canada, a co-existence of heritage and modernity. Is it so expensive to continue maintaining the 2 or 3 ferries?

MCA has never been so resolute as it is now in being fully determined to see the demise of the iconic Penang ferry service. We shall say our final goodbye to the iconic Penang ferries on Thursday 31st December. I shall be going there at 10 am Thursday with the reminder that Malaysians who cherish the iconic Penang ferries will neither forget nor forgive those responsible.

Lim Guan Eng
DAP Secretary-General
MP for Bagan

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