Tan Cheng Liang should focus on making Penang Port world class

The publicity-crazy Penang Port Commission Chairman Tan Cheng Liang is playing politics again.

The Northern Corridor Implementing Agency (NCIA) Council Meeting on 9th July 2009, chaired by Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak and attended by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, granted an approval for NCIA to move the Penang water taxi proposal to the next phase.

The plan is to link 10 proposed coastal points on the island and mainland through a small passenger water taxi in the hopes of providing an alternative for commuters.

According to Clause 9 of the NCIA Act, the Council is chaired by the Prime Minister with Deputy Prime Minister, the Mentris Besar of Kedah, Perak and Perlis, the Chief Minister of Penang, and two from each of the categories, namely, cabinet ministers, civil servants and captains of private sectors.

Tan Cheng Liang is not a member of the NCIA and it is regrettable that she jumped the gun to announce projects that are not within her purview.

The Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng, has not announced the said project to the public because of his deference to the authority of the Prime Minister, as the Chairman of the NCIA Council, in this particular instance.

The water taxi proposal is a good move although judging from its scale it will not be a major mode of transport for passengers.

The water taxi can only compliment other mass people-movers like the ferry.

The State Government of Penang, through the Penang Island Municipal Council, has offered to operate the ferry service in the hopes of improving this long existing mass transport system to link up both sides of Penang seamlessly.

Unfortunately, PPC Chairman Tan Cheng Liang becomes an obstacle in the process. She should have focused on her job to make Penang Port and the ferry service, now operated by Penang Port Sdn Bhd., world class services and not play politics with the livelihood and wellbeing of the people of Penang.

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