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Perikatan Nasional cancels iconic 126 year old Penang Ferry service

DAP expresses deep disappointment that Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul bin Tengku Abdul Aziz has failed to keep his promise in Parliament on 17 December 2020, to continue with the iconic Penang ferry services following the announcement of its termination by Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong. Tengku Zafrul has also committed the cardinal sin for Ministers by willfully misleading Parliament, a transgression that can be punished by Parliament’s Committee of Privileges.

Credibility lost?

By breaking his promise so readily in Parliament, Tengku Zafrul has not only damaged his credibility but also jeopardized the country’s international reputation by being seen as a “lightweight” with no influence on government policy. I hope Tengku Zafrul can enlighten Penangites by publicly clarifying this confusing situation, which can have serious repercussions beyond merely retaining the iconic Penang ferry services.

As the main architect and principal spokesperson of Malaysia’s economic policy, a Finance Minister’s credibility is of utmost importance to retain both public trust and inspire confidence amongst investors and the business community, that the country means what it says and says what it means. How then can the country restore our sovereign credit ratings following Fitch Ratings’ downgrade from A- to BBB+?

Furthermore, the cancellation of the iconic 126 year old Penang ferry service is an unequivocal declaration of the PN government’s open confrontation with the people of Penang, led by their chosen hatchet man MCA and Wee Ka Siong. This is not the first time that Penang has suffered badly from the heavy hand of vengeance politics since the PN government took over in March 2020.

Apart from the loss of the iconic ferry services with its unique vehicle carrying capacity that harkens back to the bygone years before the 1st Penang Bridge was built, Penang has lost the following development projects approved by the Pakatan Harapan government.

1.   The termination of the proposed expansion of the Penang International Airport last year costing at least RM800 million. Whether there will be an expansion will only be decided after 2023.
2. The cancellation of RM100 million grant to build the Penang Hill Cable car to overcome the rise in train passenger traffic from 250,000 passengers a year to 2 million.
3. The suspension of Federal government guarantees for the Penang state government to secure a loan to finance the construction of the Light Rail Transit to overcome chronic traffic congestion in Penang that impeded future growth prospects.

Despite Penang contributing RM7 billion in yearly taxes and revenue to the Federal government, the PN government has taken back all these critical development projects provided for by the PH government. MCA and Wee will never be forgiven nor forgotten by Penangites and our children for their vindictive vengeance politics.

Lim Guan Eng

Secretary General of DAP

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