KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 — Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng is still ‘shamelessly’ acting as if he is still helming the state.
The MCA president questioned Lim’s right to raise the federal government’s decision to discontinue the ferry service in Penang.
He was commenting on Lim’s statement last week in which the DAP secretary-general had said that the decision to discontinue the ferry service is an unequivocal declaration of Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) open confrontation with Penang citizens.
On his Facebook posting yesterday, Wee responded to Lim by stating that the latter is no longer the Penang chief minister to issue such a retort and that the federal government will instead conduct proper discussions with Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
“Looks like Lim Guan Eng is still acting like he’s the Penang Chief Minister whereas the Penang Chief Minister recognised by the Federal government is none other than YAB Chow Kon Yeow (CKY). Whatever decision about the ferry services, Tengku Zafrul and I will discuss with the real Chief Minister, CKY!
“Many Penangites are confused as if there are two Chief Ministers, whereby YAB Chow Kon Yeow is the weekdays’ CM while Lim Guan Eng is the weekend CM,’’ said Wee.
Wee also pointed out that it was the previous Pakatan Harapan government that had agreed to replace Penang ferry services with catamaran vessels.
“Lim Guan Eng’s sister, who is also a current Senator, Lim Hui Ying also agreed with this move. Looks like the Lim family should call for a family meeting to standardise their views,’’ said Wee.
Wee said replacing the ferry service, which is prone to breakdowns, with catamarans is a practical initiative to protect the safety of Penangites which will benefit Penang’s travel and transport industries.
Lim in his statement on December 26 questioned finance minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz’s credibility after failing to fulfil his promise to continue the Penang ferry service on December 17 and has committed “a cardinal sin” by wilfully misleading the Parliament.
Previously, Wee had said that more automobiles are expected to use Penang Bridge and Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge to travel between the mainland and the island because it is safer, quicker and cheaper compared to ferries.
The transport minister had said that beginning next year two fast ferry vessels will carry foot passengers while one existing Prasarana-owned ferry will carry motorcycles and bicycles across the channel so there would not be any vehicular ferries for four-wheeled vehicles.
Wee said the decision made was aimed at making the Penang ferry service safer, faster and less prone to unsustainable maintenance costs.
He claimed that the existing 47-year-old ferries were prone to incurring maintenance costs on an average of once a month.
Wee also said that Tengku Zafrul had confirmed that RM30 million was allocated for the fleet modernisation and that the sum will be released in two tranches, in 2021 and 2022.