PETALING JAYA: Lim Hui Ying, the sister of former Penang chief minister Guan Eng, has denied Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong’s claim she had agreed with a proposal to replace Penang’s ferries with catamaran-type boats.
Hui Ying, a senator, said she had told the Dewan Negara she would like to see at least two of the three iconic ferries currently in use retained.
“No one is saying that we object to the catamarans. However, and I made it very clear in my speech, the federal government should continue the iconic ferry service, even if at a slightly lower frequency, to complement the new catamaran service,” she said in a statement.
Hui Ying said she had called for Putrajaya to continue the ferry services after Dec 31, in contrast to the government’s plan of halting all ferry operations until the catamaran boats arrived.
She urged Wee to “heed the call of Penangites” by allowing the 126-year-old Penang ferry service to continue, in line with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s plan.
According to her, it was not the first time that Wee and his party, MCA, had attempted to divide DAP leaders with false statements.
“Wee and MCA should stop being defensive, desperately finding ways, including twisting our words, to justify his callous plan to terminate the iconic Penang ferry service,” she said.
Guan Eng and Wee had been issuing statements on the ferry service, with the DAP secretary-general upset that the “iconic ferries” were being phased out to be replaced with more efficient ferries.
Wee previously announced that the old ferries would make way for “safer, faster and cheaper-to-maintain” water buses (for passengers) and transporters (for motorcycles), which were expected to arrive by mid-2022.
Guan Eng said plans to cancel the Penang ferry service at the end of the year proved that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government was in “open confrontation” with the people of Penang, adding that the effort was led by Wee.
Hitting back at his criticisms, Wee questioned Guan Eng’s right to raise the matter as he was no longer chief minister.
He said the decision to replace the ferry services with catamarans was agreed upon by the PH government, and that Hui Ying had also agreed with the move.
“Looks like the Lim family should call for a family meeting to standardise their views,” Wee said. – FMT