GEORGE TOWN, Oct 17 — Finding it detrimental to the tourism industry, federal minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz offered today to mediate in the ongoing land dispute over Penang’s Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) owned by the Transport Ministry and the state government.
Nazri, who is in charge of the tourism and culture portfolio, expressed confidence that he can held resolve the stalemate between his Cabinet colleague in charge of transport Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
“I will speak to minister of transport and to CM and come to a solution,” he said, adding that he will try to arrange for the duo to meet and discuss the issue in a mutually beneficial way as soon as possible.
“I have always received full cooperation from the Penang state government so I am certain it can be resolved especially when this involves the tourism sector,” he said.
Nazri was responding to questions regarding Liow’s claims that the land dispute over SPCT had affected tourism.
When asked to comment, Lim said he does not know what Liow had said.
“Let Nazri arrange a meeting with the transport minister and we will discuss this matter,” the Penang lawmaker said.
The Penang Port Commission (PPC), which is under the Transport Ministry, is leasing the SPCT from the Penang government.
The PPC had previously applied to purchase the SPCT land and had paid a premium of over RM10 million for it.
The Penang government rejected the offer and returned the premium which led to PPC challenging the state’s rejection in court but PPC lost the case.
PPC is a federal government regulatory body that manages and maintains all port facilities and services in Penang.