Penang's Iconic Ferries May Be Phased Out And Replaced With Pedestrian-Only Catamarans

The vessels are 47 years old.

Cover image via Lee Yong Jin/SAYS

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong recently reconfirmed that Penang's ferry service may be retired, as catamarans take its place

During a parliament session on 7 December, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said he was informed of the Ministry Of Transport's (MOT) plans to replace the ferries starting from mid-2022.

"The issue raised is that the iconic ferry services will be terminated and replaced with catamarans which have no space for vehicles."

"We would like the MOT to allow the ferries to operate alongside the catamarans so the public can experience both services," Chow added.

In response, Wee said that the ferries were about 47 years old and there were no spare parts left to maintain them

"Every year, only 200,000 vehicles board the ferries while there are 1.2 million pedestrians," he said during the parliament session.

He also said that employing pedestrian-only catamarans would be sufficient to meet the public's demands, as the two existing bridges in Penang were enough for people who drive.

Netizens were saddened by the news, feeling nostalgic about the ferries that have existed for decades in Penang

According to New Straits Times, there are only two ferries in Penang that transports vehicles and pedestrians.

If you've never seen what ferries looked like 65 years ago, here's a list of old photographs you can check out:

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