Third bridge, tunnel talk – but no hurry to hand/take over Penang ferries

Sorry, only three ferries in service (July 2014)!

A lot of talk in the media about the RM3.7bn tunnel or a RM1.8bn third Penang bridge. But not much talk about handing over the Penang ferries to the state government.

This Bernama report from theSun:

Penang govt postpones ferry services takeover

23 April 2016

GEORGE TOWN: The DAP-led Penang government has decided to postpone its proposed takeover of ferry services in the state to another date yet to be decided, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He said the decision was made at the State Executive Council (Exco) Meeting on March 30 and confirmed on April 6.

The state government, he said, was concerned over management and supervision by the Penang Port Commission (SPPP) which would affect tens of millions of ringgit in investments in ferry services if it was not managed professionally and competently.

“In determining the direction of the proposed ferry services takeover, the Exco has agreed that this matter be discussed in greater detail first between Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and myself, he said in a statement here today.

“Through this discussion we hope to clarify on several key points relating to SPPP’s role and regulatory powers, he said, adding that it was important that SPPP be managed professionally according to international standards. — Bernama

So has this discussion with Liow Tiong Lai been held? What is the outcome? What is holding it back? Why are we even talking about a third bridge or a tunnel when the second Penang bridge looks like a ghost bridge a lot of the time and only one to four ferries are running instead of a dozen or more?

We already have three links to the mainland, two of which are operating well below capacity, at minimal capacity, really. What is the urgency for a fourth link? Why are we even discussing it now?

The federal government would rather build a bridge it can control while the state government appears more interested in a tunnel. Meanwhile, the ferry service continues to languish in neglect.

After all, the investment needed to improve the ferry service is too cheap(!) compared to other multibillion ringgit infrastructure like bridges and tunnels. So no one is keen to pursue the ferry service.

Even privatised Penang Port Sdn Bhd probably feels that it can’t make much profit; so the service is left to rot for all it cares. Never mind the long-suffering ferry commuters. That’s the logic of privatisaton.

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Old Georgetown, the ferry, Penang Hill, Maxwell Hill, WW2 fortifications, Bujang valley, small towns, homestay at villages: they could all have been major, unique contibutors to the economy with little new debt incurred. But then, capitalists and their pet politicians would not be happy. So, destroy, develop, and repeat.


you want those in interior sarawak and malaya to bathe in rivers, no elect and swim to go to sch while we talk cheap cents on internet. some more not fast go for high speedbosrd band or highspeed train.


taking air asia, discounted car and bungalow cheap stunts. so how can they follow pg lang
‘s call to take public buses ot cycle to work? apart from political trader pg lang want them to be pasar malam trader too?

Y K Leong

It was reported today that YB Lim Hock Seng, Penang EXCO for infrastructure said that the RM 305 million for the feasibility studies has been spent. How much did the tunnel studies cost? That is quite a lot of money to be spent on something which is now cancelled. Assuming that the tunnel feasibility studies cost 1/3 of the 3 studies, it would be in the region of RM 100 million. That amount can easily be used in a good ferry system. Any explanation of how the money was spent?


halcrow is a pommy co talking about shillings n pounds. there is no bullock carts n rm is not bullock cart wheels. not any ah chong, rajah, ali can do tunnel studies especially in seas. you can rent out barges and boats like cheaply like 2.6 m bungalow? studies have to cover 2 routes you want just one lucky strike? lucky strike cig no more in market


Who hired pommy talking Halcrow and paid them Zoro?

rajraman. Not Tunglang or any lang but the State under Deity.Umno have $$$ to spend like no tommorow but Deity known for his wise spending.


rajraman, Deity is penny wise, pound foolish or imprudent (in want of money)? Dealing with developers is like dealing with a meat seller with a big knife to slice any meaty deal. Ask for a light rail or tram & they push & slice for big money spending projects. Cos they know Deity is hard up for cash, so they have no qualms to push for big money projects. Trams are for small spenders, which incidentally fit Penang state of financial want. But then, MercS300Lansi will shame the rider for small money projects. I still prefer the Scandinavian style of… Read more »


He only wise comes to his spending.
Cheap House buy but if state/people’s $$$ spend and spend like Najib.

rajraman.99.9% Political Traders spend taxpayer $$$ without asking.They will ask when election comes for votes.I don’t think he fly Air Asia.


sori if pasar traders can do subsea tunnel studies. now you can recommed some reallh cheap pasar malam traders to pg n federal gomen n like razak earn yr brokerage. also tell pommyland pasar malam traders can do studies n design in uk n now with new mayor. pasar malam traders can transfer tech NO LOGY to UK n rest of world. too bad mumbai should buy monorail from pasar mlm traders.


You never anwser my question Zoro.
Which Trader appoint Halcrow?

rajraman. I tell you the Polical Trader Deity appointed the pommy Halcrow.
No further response to your comment since run away as usual from question.
Umno will appoint anyone as long there is donation(?)


even pasar mlm traders know n u no know?


all pasar mlm traders know and you no know? you also no know halcrow?


rajrakan, as I said before, trollers (paid or overpaid) have nothing constructive to contribute except to talk like Chew Thean Yang Amazon Parrot fed with CAT’s food!
Didn’t you see the style of grammar of this particular troller no different from a parrot?
Just throw more chilli!


mari mari jual murah and join the oasar malam always giving cheap shots. roads, housing, trams all thr same cheap shots and comments. over years getting worst. granny getting older.


It seems the undersea tunnel will take at least 10 years to complete and if it does start to construct in 2019 and will only complete after 2029. By which time Batu Kawan would be a booming town and the 2nd bridge should be overcrowded.
Batu Kawan is actually a very wise plan and it seems a few of foreign experts have very high opinion of it too.


Dare not to comment since my comments about “Dare not to apply” gets to much negative votes from Deity supporters.

rajraman. Any how the Cheap Minister don’t bother cheap investment where the $$$ to little with little publicity.


You are spot on, rajraman.
Why bother cheap investment of little publicity?
Only ‘Cheap’ Stunts like Air Asia Economy & highly discounted purchase of Merc S300Lansi are 2 high publicity mileage for the self-inflated ego. There after more red joss-sticks facing Komtar Tower of Cheap Stunts.


To be fair, ferries are under Feds, are they allowing State takeover?

gk ong

Not until it is squeezed dry?