I WAS back in Butterworth last month to visit my brother-in-law who was admitted to a hospital in Penang for brain surgery.
I had to cross to the island by ferry (on foot). It has been such a long time ago since I did that during my school days in Penang.
What I saw and encountered along the way really saddens me.
Some of my observations during the trip are as follows:
·Bus terminal: It has been perhaps close to 10 years since the bus terminal was gutted. The terminal now operates from a temporary site under the flyover to the vehicle ferry. The ticketing counter, passenger waiting area and food stalls are housed in temporary tents/zinc structures. The place is hot, dusty and so haphazard!
l Ferry terminal: There is no proper passageway from the bus terminal.
The path is uneven, unpaved and part of it is over concrete slabs covering the drains. How do you expect the old and physically handicapped to walk through this hazardous path?
l Old bus terminal: The building had been cordoned off since the fire. However, to get to the ferry, foot passengers must still use the staircase of the terminal and thus pass through the building. The building is scattered with rubbish and the first floor is flooded with water. This place is not only an eyesore but also a health hazard, a breeding ground for Aedes mosquitoes.
It has been such a long time since the collapse of the ferry terminal and then the fire on the bus terminal. It seems the temporary site for the bus terminal is to become permanent!
Butterworth folks are getting a raw deal, perhaps because there is no strong voice from the residents. They deserve better amenities and services.
What is the plan for them and how long more do they have to wait? They need an explanation from the Seberang Prai Municipal Council and quick action to rectify the situation.
KATIE ANG, Kuala Lumpur. (via e-mail)
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