Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Help keep Penang Port afloat, Govt urged

The Federal Government should seriously consider restoring Penang’s free-port status, given the decline in container traffic.

The 24% decline was a warning for the Finance Ministry to inject fresh funds and new ideas into Penang Port Sdn Bhd, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He said such a move was needed to save the port, which reported the decline in the second quarter of the year, when all others in the country recorded increases.

“The Marine Department revea-led that Malaysian ports handled 10% more containers in the second quarter of the year compared to the first, reflecting a recovery in both domestic and transhipment cargo,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“However, Penang Port was the only one showing a decline.”

He said the time had come to take bold steps to introduce creativity, and innovative methodology and management to revive Penang Port.

“With the Penang Port Commission’s promised completion of the Swettenham Pier by this month remaining unfulfilled, the ministry should intervene and actively engage in the activities at Penang Port.”

Source: StarOnline

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