Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ferry in Penang


The ferry, in its original orange colour


Though the ferry service began operation in 1920, it started to be most helpful to me only when I were a secondary school boy.

Ferry service was the only method to connect people from mainland to Penang Island.

I had to travel from Butterworth to high school at Penang Island everyday at dawn. It was 1974. Penang Island was still enjoying its free port status.
We had to go through custom check each time before we embarked for mainland. Sometimes we ran fast before the gate to ferry was closed, left the custom official with a few seconds to check on our school bag.

By that time, Penang Bridge was still a dream. One of the leaders from opposition party ever challenged to jump from the bridge if it came to a reality.
Today, we are having a routine jammed Penang Bridge. Second bridge, according to plan, is going to be ready by 2011, yet, no one offers to jump until now.

Penang Port Authority will scrap this vehicular ferry service once the expansion of the first bridge is completed in September, 2009.
By then, the story of ferry will be another line in the history book, may be, it will lie beside Captain Francis Light, the founder of Penang.

The next journey- will the ferry have value added after its retirement? It is not self-decisive.

Similarly, what will our value be when we get old?

What will be yours?



8 comments:

subrayoga said...

I remember attending a briefing by the posrt authorities regarding the stopping of the ferries.

Supposed to be : once the 3rd lane is ready, few ferries will be stopped. Once 2nd bridge is ready, vehicle carrying ferries will be stopped, meanwhile the people ferry will be replaced with speed ferry or something like that.

Something from the remote corner of my memory. Subra

Ratty said...

I really liked your story of your everyday ferry trips. I always wanted to ride on a ferry at least once, but I never have yet.

Rose Ragai said...

I have been to Penang twice but never have a chance to ride on the ferry. I would love to ride on the ferry if i make a visit again next year. it will be an interesting trip..Thanks for sharing...:)

Buwau98 said...

Ferry reminds me of those that we once have, but unlike those in Penang, over here they crosses river.
Year end weather doesn't permit me to travel into the rural areas. I'll be going out again next year......meetings,seminars and workshops also keeps me away from my blog.

rainfield61 said...

I used to park my car at Butterworth, together with my family, we rode on the ferry to Penang, and then returned to Butterworth.
We can watch firework when the clock struck 0:00 during every New Year. 1-1-2009 is coming.

Pilo Gui said...

Just ride a ferry in India across The Ganges.
That should be a memorable life-time event. nosle.com todd

arthur said...

i remembered in 1970, i left Penang for Singapore as a young teen, taking the ferry, across onward journey to join my parent, economy was not too good, that then. The ferry is the only mean to travel across into mainland M'sia. It then have been the long journey for me since.

rainfield61 said...

arthur: Glad that my posts have not bored you for hours. We are glad to have the ferry service being carried on. There has been too many politicians' talk.

I think you must have come back to Penang frequently. She is very much different, 1970 and 2009.