KANGAR: The Transport Ministry plans to build a new jetty for passenger ferry operations to Langkawi as a long-term solution to the sedimentation problems that often occur at the Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis jetties.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the problems were so frequent that the government had to spend about RM50mil every two years to carry out dredging works to enable passenger ferries to the resort island to operate.
“The ministry is thinking about finding a location that can benefit both states (Kedah and Perlis) so that we can solve this problem in the long term.
“We are still discussing it and I will announce the details later,” he told reporters after opening the Perlis MCA convention here yesterday.
He said the Maritime Institute of Malaysia under his ministry was still studying suitable areas between Kedah and Perlis for the construction of a passenger jetty.
“We already have a special allocation for the Kuala Kedah Jetty, but if we build it in Kuala Kedah, it cannot solve the problem, so we have to find a more suitable site,” he said.
Dr Wee told Bernama that although the new jetty will be completed later, the Kuala Kedah Jetty and Kuala Perlis Jetty will not be closed and will operate for other purposes, including cargo services or for fisheries.
On the dredging work at the Kuala Kedah Jetty, he said as at Friday, it was 75% completed and is expected to be fully completed in November, while the dredging work at the Kuala Perlis Jetty was slightly delayed due to equipment problems and the lack of manpower.
“According to the contract, it is expected to be completed next year,” he said.