BY JACINTHA JOLENE
KOTA SAMARAHAN: Ferry users are reminded to adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and regulations set by the authorities.
Minister for Infrastructure and Port Development Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said this was for their own safety after visiting the Triso and Saribas ferry terminals on Thursday (Jan 20).
He also mentioned the importance of wearing life jackets, especially for all vehicle passengers, including the drivers, which might appear trivial but was really crucial and necessary.
“The public too, with the exception of emergency vehicles with the sirens or emergency lights switched on, like the ambulance, the Fire and Rescue Department, police and Civil Defence Force, are not allowed to jump queue.
“No one is allowed to park their vehicle on the ferry ramp.”
“I also hope ferry operators would ensure that all SOPs, rules and guidelines are followed closely.”
Meanwhile, the Public Works Department (JKR) plans to engage a security firm to assist in SOP enforcement at all 12 ferry terminals statewide.
Deputy director Richard Tajan said JKR hoped to do this within this year.
“We want all to observe the SOPs when boarding the ferries for their own safety.
“Besides queue jumping, another one of our grave concerns is the reluctance among ferry users to use the life jackets provided when they are aboard.
“The reason they usually give is that the jackets were shared by many and are dirty.
“The fact is, they are frequently sanitised by the ferry workers.”
The public are given the option of bringing their own jackets or buying one, which costs RM35, in the ferry.
“Then again we face another problem of missing jackets.
“A ferry operator estimated he lost about 200 jackets per month.
“We hope by engaging the security company, we can put an end to or minimise such problems.”
Richard also stated that JKR had proposed the development of a limited zone area or ferry operating zone to address safety concerns.
Local fishermen, he said, tended to fish near the operating region because of the very favorable conditions where riverwater meets seawater, which attract fishes.
In July 2018, he said there had been an instance where their net got entangled in the ferry’s propellers.
“We are not trying to stop them from fishing but they must follow the rules. Public safety is top priority.
“We hope for this ferry operation zone to be gazetted in order to come into effect.
“But before we do this, we will engage the fishermen, the area elected representatives, and community leaders in dialogues.”
Also joining Uggah in the visit was Assistant Minister Datuk Majang Renggi.