THE Penang government should look into converting the existing ferries to hawker centres and restaurants for tourism purposes when a new fleet of ferries is obtained.
Tanjung MCA division chairman Loke Poh Chye said that as the Transport Ministry had earlier announced an allocation of RM30mil for Penang to purchase new ferries, the old ferries should be put to good use in new projects.
“We are suggesting that these old ferries be parked around suitable water spots in the Tanjung area,” said Loke during a press conference near the Esplanade on Tuesday.
“The ferries can be transformed into tourist attractions.
“One of them can be used as a hawker centre and the other can house a type of restaurant for any type of cuisine.
“In future, these attractions might turn into another landmark in Penang as ferries are beloved icons of the state.
“Many Penangites have good memories of the ferries.
“If we think about it, it is costly to keep the old ferries running to and fro to carry passengers.”
Loke said that as Penang relied primarily on temples, mosques and places of interest marked by ancestors many decades ago, the state needed new landmarks.
“As we are now battling the Covid-19 pandemic, we need to think of a new way to attract tourists. If the ferries are converted, we plan to do it under the ‘Happy Tanjung’ (Tanjung Gembira) theme.
“This move will result in more income for hawkers and better job opportunities for youngsters.”
After the press conference, Loke and Tanjung MIC division coordinator J. Dhinagaran handed out face masks to hawkers and visitors near the Esplanade.
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