PENANG, 10 June 2009: The Penang government will submit an official application to take over the operations of the mainland-island ferry service from Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB), Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
He said a letter would be sent tomorrow to the Penang Port Commission (PPC) which supervises the Penang port.
“Today’s meeting of the state executive council unanimously agreed that the state government take over the operation of the ferry service,” he told reporters.
He said that if the application was approved, the state government would establish the Penang Heritage Ferry Board to operate the service.
“Prior to the approval of the enactment to set up the board, the ferry service will be operated by the Penang Island Municipal Council,” he said.
Yesterday, PPC chairperson Tan Cheng Liang said any application to take over the ferry service had to be sent to the commission before it was submitted to the federal government.
Tan said the PPC only served as the licensor and any decision or change in the ferry service operator would be determined by the federal government.
Last week, the PPSB stated its intention to hand over the operation of the ferry service to the federal government as it could not shoulder the losses accumulated over the last 10 years.
The PPSB reportedly incurred a loss of RM21 million last year. — Bernama