KUALA LUMPUR: An MP has been told to resolve his differences with a deputy minister over a teh tarik session on Penang's transportation issues.
Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said made the suggestion to RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) after Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Henry Sum Agong had said that he would provide written replies.
"Can the deputy minister invite YB Jelutong (Rayer) over to the ministry, together with Penang Chief Minister (Chow Kon Yeow), who is also a member of this House, so that all of you can resolve the issues over teh tarik?" Azalina said after Rayer's insistence that he be given an immediate answer on the matter in the House.
Earlier, Rayer had questioned the RM30mil allocation provided for the iconic Penang ferry services, to which Azalina instructed Sum to provide a written answer within five days.
Rayer, who was earlier allowed to ask a third supplementary question, went on a rant over the lack of development in Penang.
He cited Penang International Airport expansion project, the iconic ferry services and Penang Hill cable car as examples.
"Is this because Penang is an Opposition-led state government?" he asked.
To this, Sum said although Rayer's question was off the topic on the original question related to the island's ferry service, a written reply would be given to him.
Earlier, Sum said the ferry service was taken over by Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) on Jan 1 this year, adding that the old iconic ferries had to be "retired" due to their age and for safety reasons.
In replacement, he said the Penang Port Commission (PPC) and PPSB are in the midst of upgrading the port and ferry service.
He said the ferry service will involve the use of new "water bus" and "vehicle transporter" by the end of 2022 in phases.
During the transition period, Sum said the ferry service will be conducted through ferries rented by PPSB and only for pedestrians and transporting motorcycles and bicycles.
In July this year, PPC chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng announced that the five iconic Penang ferries would be converted into a floating museum, two floating restaurants and two tourist ferries.
He said of the five ferries - Talang-Talang, Pulau Payar, Pulau Undan, Pulau Kapas and Pulau Pinang - only Talang-Talang and Pulau Undan were sailable.
The three others were decommissioned in 2019.