KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Government-owned Prasarana Malaysia Bhd will allocate RM90 million to upgrade the Penang Ferry service terminal facilities and buy new ferries under the Penang Ferry Services Development Plan, the Dewan Rakyat (Lower House) was told yesterday.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the plan to improve the services was laid out following the acquisition of the Penang Ferry service from its operator.
Of the total allocation, RM21 million set aside for 2018-2019 period will be used to purchase new passenger ferries. This will increase the number of vehicular ferries from six at the moment,” he said when winding-up debate on the motion of thanks for the Royal Address.
Prasarana’s subsidiary, Rapid Ferry Sdn Bhd took over the Penang ferry operations from Penang Port Commission on May 1. The services have been losing RM700 per trip since Penang Bridge was opened in 1985.
In addition, RM13.7 million has also been allocated to repair and refurbish the six existing ferries for a period of three years from 2018.
To a question from Ngeh Koo Ham (PH-Beruas), Loke said the government has no plan to turn both the Lumut Maritime Terminal and Iron Ore Jetty for Vale into container ports.
“There is no need to develop a new port, but a study concludes that government needs to optimise the existing ports and develop port facilities for certain industrial purposes.
The Lumut Maritime Terminal in Kampung Acheh and Port Vale in Teluk Rubiah are private port and jetty, respectively, managed by private companies and regulated by Marine Department.
Both terminals handle and operate industrial cargo,” he said, adding that the government has no plans to build a railway line connecting Lumut with both ports.
Source: NAM News Network