Prasarana taking over Rapid Penang and ferries?


Soon after the Pakatan-led Penang state government said it wanted to take over the ferry service, we now see the feds moving in, indicating their desire to take over the ferries through Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd. Prasarana, wholly owned by the Finance Ministry, is the asset owner of the bus services operated by Rapid KL and Rapid Penang.

This is reminiscent of how the feds moved in soon after the BN-led Penang government under Koh Tsu Koon indicated it wanted to set up its own state-owned bus service following numerous complaints about the privatised “cowboy”-style bus service. The Penang government’s plan to set up a state bus corporation was thwarted when the feds set up Rapid Penang, a subsidiary of Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras Sdn Bhd (Rapid KL), also wholly-owned by the Finance Ministry.

There is now also a move for Prasarana to take over both Rapid KL and Rapid Penang, ostensibly to give more financial muscle to these two entities.

While it is good for the Penang ferry and bus services to come under the same body as it could ensure better coordination and integration, that body should be owned and managed at the state level. In other words, the Penang bus and ferry services should come under a new body called Penang Transport Authority or Penang Public Transport Commission which should be owned at the local level.

If ever the Pakatan takes over at the federal level, one of the first things it should do is to transfer ownership and management of the ferry and bus services as well as the Penang Bridge back to the Penang state government or local authorities. That would lead to more accountability to the public and greater knowledge and responsiveness to local needs.

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21 Jul 2009 6.48am

rapid penang….aiyaaa… got to wait two hours at botanical gardens with two other american tourists. state better do something.

19 Jul 2009 7.07pm

It makes much more sense for the state government, instead of the federal, to own and coordinate the public transport facility in Penang, and in fact in every other local municipality in Malaysia. Why? First, if public transport is to be efficient and effective, it needs to be subsidised by state money. And state money comes from taxpayers. So, at one hand the state government could raise parking rates, and channel the money to public transport. Rich people can continue enjoy the liberty to drive their big cars, but common people could keep our own car in the garage most… Read more »

18 Jul 2009 9.47pm

This is the Archiles Heel of the Feds – tax collection from states.
Penangites have been paying God knows how much for these Feds to squander away ‘Ah Kong’s money’ which is not from their(Feds) sweat and tears.
Stop channeling the tax money to them and see what happen.
Penang gomen will not have to beg for development fund like a beggar.
Lim Guan Eng, what you say?

u.s. gill
u.s. gill
18 Jul 2009 6.36pm

Good idea by Selangor to collect “zakat” from the nons to keep the ‘cash cow’ at home. Other PR states too should seriously look into this UNIQUE idea.

18 Jul 2009 5.28pm


The recent call by the Selangor MB for all (including non-Muslims)to pay zakat as opposed to INcome Tax may have something in it.

This will enable State Govt to keep all taxes within their treasuries and then spend wisely, as opposed to paying Income Tax into the Fed’s Consoldated Revenue Account and watch it disappear with fancy accounting and over-inflated project costs.

It will also stop UMNO/BN from holding Kelantan and Pakatan States to ransom over money for much needed development projects. Hopefully, with a smaller revenue base, corruption will be minimised at the Fed level!

Andrew I
18 Jul 2009 5.00pm

Unless it’s another Rick Astley is dead, the breaking news from the Star is Chua Jui Meng has left MCA for PKR.

18 Jul 2009 3.55pm

Well the whole idea over the last 50 years is to centralise or federalise everything so that the state government does not have any clout. I agree with Anil and take it a step further, states should run their own state with the exception of Finance, Home, Foreign, Defence, sort of an autonomy. States should also have their own Home department and law enforcement should be a state subject. Home on federal level can have their own federal agencies such as FBI, interstate and SB. mmmmmmm everyone things I have gone mad or have I? This way, it is all… Read more »

18 Jul 2009 3.23pm

The real reason the Feds want to get involved and throw Taxpayers money after purchasing planes for MAS, and buses and ferries elsewhere is that it gives UMNO/BN complete control over SPENDING on CAPITAL EXPENDITURE with very little accountability, transparency or oversight. Billions of RM!! When these entities make operating losses it is just absorbed by the Fed with further cash injections, often classified as ‘off-budget’ allocations. The money ccomes from your and my taxes paid by the sweat of our brow. In recent years Proton ($300 million R&D Grant), MAHB (appx. RM1 billion on ‘re-structuring’)and other Govt owned agencies… Read more »

18 Jul 2009 3.16pm

Hi Bro and sis

We have to make sure the BeeNd has his ending by next election…..

Don’t talk but never do some thing.

18 Jul 2009 2.34pm

Aiyah! Penang people. Stop using the bus. Stop using car. Use the bicycle.

1. It is healthy
2. Pollution free
3. Bankrupt the bus company

18 Jul 2009 1.09pm

No wonder the BN govt is so eager to raise public transport fares. A warning to PR state govt. A kind of sabotage is going around in the PR state. I notice lately the police and the municipal councils (mostly manned by umno members) are super efficient in issuing summnons to motor cyclist and motorist. I heard a motor cyclist saying after receiving a summnon for parking his motorcycle in front of the GAMA entrance….’they are so stupid. after voting for them, they start to issue summnons at express speed. I will not vote for them at the next election’.

18 Jul 2009 12.35pm

As long as the service is good, the people would not mind. But it does raise questions why should the feds intervene only when the state wants to take action about it?

Say a total transportation breakdown a month before the next GE with the people and the press howling after LGE like the Kg Buah Pala case?

27 Sep 2010 6.06pm
Reply to  mut

If the Federal Govt runs everything in a State, then what’s the point of having a State Govt ? I think a State Govt must be given the authority and responsibility to run basic services in a State. Bus and Ferry transportation are basic services.

18 Jul 2009 12.27pm

it (could) be used as a political tool to sabotage the state govt.

in fact, all critical services (may) be taken away from the local councils and state govt so that the rakyat will be beholden to the federal govt. if we dont toe the line and vote opposition, they (could) just turn the tap off to make us suffer.

when will the people wake up and throw this obnoxiously corrupt govt away with their votes?

18 Jul 2009 12.02pm

It happening again. In Sabah when PBS was in the Opposition, Federal Goverment wanted to federalised whatever “Jabatan” under the State Gov.Politic of Federelism in the making.