Ferry licenses needed if Penang Govt takes over ferry service, says Guan Eng

16 JUNE 2015, BY The Sun Daily Online
GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government wants 30 water taxi or ferry licences from the federal government if it was given the green light to take over the operation of the iconic ferry service.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (pix) said any successful takeover by his administration should not include the losses accrued by the operation so far.

He said that the services of management members would not be retained.

"However, non-management staff would not be affected," Lim stressed.

The state was in the midst of preparing a proposal to take over the operations of the service and is now waiting for more data from the Transport Ministry in order to prepare a thorough plan, he added.

The request for more information was made after the ministry said that the state could submit a proposal on the matter in a letter dated May 8, he told a press conference today.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai was quoted as saying on May 4 that his ministry had agreed in principle for the state to take over the ferry operations but they must be responsible and absorb everything as a package.

On other matters, Lim said the state has formed a "Task Force for MAS Retrenched Workers" to assist some 6,000 staff affected by the restructuring exercise of the national airline.

He explained that the task force will be headed by Deputy Chief Minister II Dr. P. Ramasamy who holds the human resources portfiolio.

The assistance will be in the form of job placements and legal aid to protect their rights as workers, he said, adding there were some 150 MAS staff in Penang.