Empower officer to stop vehicle boarding ferry

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

KUCHING: The officer to be stationed at every ferry point in the state to monitor daily ferry operations must have the right to refuse vehicles from embarking the ferry, said federal Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

In welcoming stricter enforcement of the safety regulations at ferries, the Santubong MP said the regulations were ought to be made to empower the appointed JKR officer to enforce the rules.

“Thank you to the fast action by the JKR to station its officers at entry and exit points of the ferry on both sides of the river at every ferry point in the state.

“The notice also ought to be erected and enforce for the vehicle passengers to alight at the head of the ramp from their vehicle before boarding the ferry,” he told New Sarawak Tribune when asked to comment on the new standard operation procedures (SOPs) taken by JKR.

Wan Junaidi who is a former MP of the Batang Lupar also said the tragedy which had claimed nine lives at the Triso ferry point last Friday served as a grim reminder on the need to strictly follow to the SOPs when using such facilities.

“All vehicles must stop at the head of the ramp to allow people to alight from vehicle. People then walk down to the ferry, while only the driver drive the vehicle onto the ferry.

“Ferry too, should not leave the ramp for so long as there is a vehicle on the slope of the ramp to either going into the ferry or reversing up the ramp.

“Generally, so long as there is a vehicle seen to be in difficulties on the ramp the ferry must not leave the ramp and to extend assistance or help where required,” he added.

Last Friday, a pickup truck with nine passengers had fallen into the Batang Lupar, killing all of them.

The victims including a four-month-old baby boy, six adolescents comprising four boys and two girls and two adults.