PETALING JAYA: As Penang is now one of the main ports in the country, the connectivity and convenience of transport services in the maritime sector must be taken into account to ensure that it can play an important role in the state, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The Transport Minister said this during a courtesy visit of Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang at the Transport Ministry in Putrajaya on Tuesday (June 21).

“Among the matters discussed during the meeting were about efforts to solve the worsening traffic congestion in the state.

“At the same time, we also discussed water taxi services, electrical vehicles (EV) including providing the EV tour services,” he said in a Facebook post.

He said the implementation of the Penang water taxi services will not only provide an additional option of transport to the public and tourists, it will also create job opportunities and increase the income of fishermen especially during the rainy season.

“MBPP will send the plan to the Transport Ministry and officers in the related department will expedite the follow up action on the matter,” he said.

Dr Wee added that the mayor said that MBPP is currently active in promoting sustainable and green development.

He said the next step is to work with the Federal Government through the Malaysian Green Technology Action Plan, and EV development is an important part under that action plan.

Currently, MBPP intends to provide sightseeing EV services in historic areas for the convenience of tourists and to reduce parking and traffic congestion problems.

He said MBPP hopes that the Transport Ministry will allow the use of sightseeing EVs on the road in certain areas as well as adding more charging station facilities.

He said this was because the main roads in Penang are now narrower and denser, especially during the holiday season.

He added the ministry takes the proposal seriously, especially when it involves road rules and safety.

“I am willing to listen with a big heart to the proposal that was presented by the mayor today as I have witnessed myself last month the worsening traffic congestion in Penang.

“Currently, our country is also making strides towards the development of green technology, so this proposal can be said to be timely. As long as it benefits the people, the ministry will be responsible to help,” he added.

Also present during the meeting were Transport Ministry secretary-general Datuk Isham Ishak, Penang Port Commission chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng and MBPP engineering director Cheah Chin Kooi.