RM3mil amphibious bus to be Terengganu tourism draw


River to road: Ariffin (right) getting a status update on the Amphicoach from Public Works Department mechanical engineer Azman Solahuddin.

KUALA TERENGGANU: Terengga­nu’s RM3mil amphibious vehicle, known as the Amphicoach, will be cruising down the waters of Sg Terengganu again.

State Tourism, Culture and Infor­ma­tion Technology committee chair­man Ariffin Deraman said repairs on the bus, which arrived in Terengganu earlier this year after much delay, would be completed soon.

He said it was expected to begin operations early next year.

“We have high hopes that the Amphicoach will be very beneficial to Terengganu’s tourism industry,” he said after being briefed at the Public Works Department (JKR) office here.

Ariffin said repairs are expected to be completed by next month and will be officially handed over to the state government by Octo­ber.

“It will then be added to the existing list of tourist attractions at Taman Tamadun Islam (TTI) which houses one of Terengganu’s iconic places of interest, the Crystal Mosque.

“If it becomes a popular attraction, we may consider getting another one,” he added.

Ariffin, who is also Alur Limbat assemblyman and state PAS election director, said the Amphicoach will only be used in the tourism sector and will play no role in flood relief efforts.

“It is unsuitable for such efforts, given the problems. It cannot handle such a heavy task,” he added.

The purchase and arrival of the Amphicoach was not without problems and was heavily criticised in the run-up to GE14.

The bus was purchased in 2014 by the then Barisan Nasional state government and was supposed to be delivered by May 2015 to boost tourism, besides being used in flood relief operations.

The state government had even issued an ultimatum for the Amphicoach to be delivered by November 2017 but only arrived in February this year.

It was taken for a test drive in Sg Terengganu as soon as it arrived and everything appeared to be going well.

However, it ran into problems during a second outing when it was driven by former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman and stalled in the river.

It has since been parked at the JKR depot for repairs, and awaiting the Vehicle Type Approval Certi­ficate from the Road Transport Department and registration with the Marine Department.

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