Press Release

Federal and State governments told to find solution to maintain old ferries

Dec 28, 2020

  1. As plans are underway to unveil spanking new water vehicles to ply across the Penang Channel with people and vehicles, it is still not too late for a change of mind.
  2. Gerakan vice-president Datuk Baljit Singh today said that the old ferries should continue to serve pedestrians and other vehicles in a bid to save an important piece of Penang’s heritage.
  3. “Yes I am being sentimental,” conceded Baljit, “ as I have been using the ferries until now to commute to Butterworth on the mainland for work matters weekly.I also happen to think it is a fantastic tourism icon which must be promoted as a transportation option and not simply banished and repurposed as a restaurant or floating museum which will not be accessible to everyone”
  4. Why can’t the Federal and State governments sit down and figure out how each party can come up with their respective annual allocations to maintain a valuable piece of history which will be lost forever?
  5. Stating that he was not standing in the way of progress and development, Baljit said more serious and genuine effort must be put in by the government in preserving heritage.
  6. While the iconic ferry service has served as a tangible piece of cultural heritage for Penang and Malaysia, we must ensure that it is not lost, like the manner in which Gurney Drive – which used to be a natural heritage landmark – has been lost to land reclamation.
  7. He agreed that the ferry services had been running at a loss for many years, and said that ways must be found to turn it around while preserving the service for pedestrians and vehicles.
  8. There is no point in talking about how we used to have a charming centuries-old ferry service once upon a time and keep bringing up old and wonderful memories of it.
  9. Baljit also questioned the silence by public-interest groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in fighting to save the iconic ferry services.
  10. It’s simply amazing that the once-loud voices of consumer and heritage groups in Penang who spoke up for the people and heritage, have opted to remain mum at this time and do not seem concerned at all that such a valuable piece of Penang history is about to vanish right before our eyes.