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GEORGE TOWN, Jan 27 — The Penang Port Commission (PPC) has agreed to gift one of its iconic ferries to the Penang state government.
PPC chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng said PPC made this decision due to its good relationship with the state administration.
He said he met Penang state exco Zairil Khir Johari on January 11 to discuss the fate of the old Penang ferries that were retired this year.
“We requested that the Penang government share its plans for the ferries in that discussion,” he said.
He said on January 18, Zairil informed PPC that the state intended to take over one of the iconic ferries.
“Due to the good relationship and cooperation between the state and PPC, and also taking into account that both parties have the same goals of protecting the rights of Penangites, we agreed to gift the state one of the ferries as per their request,” he said.
In the meantime, PPC will also be calling for a Request for Proposal (RFP) to turn the remaining ferries into floating museums, restaurants or tourist ferries.
Tan said the RFP document will be on sale from Friday onwards at the PPC website with details available on PPC’s social media.
The RFP is for a 10-year lease of the ferries with an option to extend the lease for another five years.
Tan said the RFP is as per Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong’s decision and it took into account the cultural and heritage value of the ferries along with the sentiments of Penangites.
He said interested companies must purchase the RFP documents online before the February 15 closing date.
The RFP documents are only available online due to the movement control order (MCO).
Bidders must submit their RFP before the closing date on March 19.
The iconic car-carrying ferries were retired from January 1 onwards, leaving only one to ply the Penang channel to carry motorcycles and bicycles until 2022.
Passengers who are on foot will have to take fast boats from the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal.
Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB), which took over the ferry service from Prasarana Malaysia Bhd this year, plans to introduce passenger-only water buses and vehicle transporters by July 2022.