Politicians shouldn’t manipulate those who don’t have all the facts over retiring ferries, says Jeff Ooi

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GEORGE TOWN: Politicians shouldn’t manipulate those who do not have the facts or official records on how the old Penang ferries were retired in 2019, says former Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi.

“We should stand up for true facts,” he said in a text message on Sunday (June 6), adding that criticism should be backed by fact-checking.

This comes after a cryptic post by the former DAP MP over the half-sunken ferry in the Prai River, which has raised eyebrows.

In his post, Ooi said that old politics has no place in the digital traceability of today.

“Let the better factual argument win the day,” he said, sharing a claim by former finance minister Lim Guan Eng that it is saddening to see the dire condition of one of Penang’s iconic ferries.

“People are offended because the ferry should still be operating for the continuity of the heritage of almost 100 years instead of receiving such treatment,” Lim had said on Saturday (June 5).

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has since responded and taken Lim to task on Sunday (June 6) for attempting to blame the current administration for neglecting an iconic Penang ferry after the service was discontinued.

Dr Wee said the Penang ferry was sent to the Bagan Dalam dockyard next to Sungai Perai on Nov 27,2019 as it was dilapidated and due for docking.

“Spare parts from the Netherlands were not available and the ferry has not been inoperable since Nov 27,2019 and is there until today.

“The service operator at that time was RapidFerry, a subsidiary of Prasarana,” he said in a Facebook post.

Dr Wee pointed out that Lim was the Finance Minister at that time and Prasarana is a company of the Minister of Finance Incorporated (MKD).

He said at the end of 2019, Lim had announced an allocation of RM30mil to Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) for the purpose of purchasing a new Catamaran and taking over the service from RapidFerry owned by Prasarana.

He noted that Lim had only announced the allocation but the RM30mil was not listed in the 2020 Budget.

“If Lim is angry and is asking why spare parts have not been purchased to repair this Penang ferry, he should address the question to himself because I was not the transport minister, I was only an opposition MP,” he said.



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