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A Second Lease On Life For One Of Penang’s Biggest Icons

A Second Lease On Life For One Of Penang’s Biggest Icons

There used to be 6 Penang Ferries.

Azizul Rahman Ismail

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They were the leviathans that ferried people between Seberang Perai and Penang island. A ride on one of these open mawed ferries across the Penang Strait was always a treat for kids, and a moment of peace for the parents who had driven from as far away as Ipoh or even Kuala Lumpur. 

As time passed and bridges became more popular, these ferries went into disuse and were soon forgotten. 

The Penang Ferry ceased operations on 27 November 2019.

There are six iconic Penang Ferries left. Two will be turned into tourist ferries, two will be turned into floating restaurants, and the one they are rescuing will be turned into a floating museum.

A decorated Penang Ferry. SPPP/ Facebook.

Floating an idea to save a sinking ferry

Recently (on 5 June) the Penang Port Commission (SPPP) began to address concerns that one of these ferries had gone into so much neglect that it had begun to take on water.

“The Penang Ferry is housed at the Bagan Dalam Shipyard while the Penang Port Commission finalizes the process of leasing the ferry to the successful bidder.

“[The aim is] to turn the ferry into a museum to preserve Penang’s heritage. The Penang Ferry will be stationed at Tanjung City Marina later,” they explained in a facebook post and added that the reason it was placed there was because the waters are shallow.

On the very next day, the Chairman of SPPP Datuk Tan Teik Cheng announced that the water in the ferry will be pumped out. 

Datuk Tan Teik Cheng inspecting the flooded Penang Ferry.

Today (9 June), the SPPP put out a statement that the water in the Penang Ferry has been successfully pumped out. The operation was successfully completed at 10pm yesterday. 

The repair team will continue to inspect the condition of the ferry to ensure that it does not sink again. 

All the water was successfully pumped out. SPPP / Facebook

If all repairs have been completed, the Penang Ferry will be housed at Tanjung City Marina and will be renovated as a Floating Museum.

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