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Penang's ferry takeover plans put on hold

GEORGE TOWN: The state government has put on hold its proposed takeover of ferry services in Penang.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state executive council agreed in its meeting on Wednesday to defer any decision until further discussions with Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai are held.

“Some of my concerns are whether we have the freedom to have the services professionally run and regulated.

"However, if we are subjected to directives from the Penang Port Commission, we are concerned that we will not be allowed to operate the services professionally and efficiently.

“If the state decides to go in and puts substantial investments and (the ferry services) still remain under the PPC, then the investments may not be able to be optimised.

"I am prepared to discuss the matter further with the Transport Minister, possibly next week,” he said at a press conference in Komtar.

He said he and Liow had held discussions on the proposal twice over the last few months.

“I have raised our concerns and reservations to him. If our concerns are not addressed, then I think we will not proceed with our offer to take over the ferry services,” he said.

It was reported that the state government had expressed willingness to take over the ferry services, provided all the conditions set in a letter dated Dec 8 last year to the Transport Ministry are fulfilled.

Penang , Lim Guan Eng , ferry , Transport Ministry