It's on us. Share your news here.

Delayed dredging at Kuala Perlis jetty scuppers plans to add Langkawi ferry trips

Some of the passengers arrived at Kuah Ferry Terminal from Kuala Perlis Ferry Terminal.

Posted on March 8, 2023

The delay in dredging in waters near the Kuala Perlis jetty may inconvenience visitors to the upcoming Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2023 (Lima ’23) in May.

Langkawi ferry operator, Konsortium Ferry Line Ventures Sdn Bhd human resources and operations manager Captain Dr Baharin Baharom said the delay in the dredging works had scuppered his plans to add more trips to the island during Lima’23.

“We are aware that providing more trips will help increase the number of visitors to Langkawi.

“However, at the moment we are unclear on the progress of the dredging works along the Kuala Perlis-Langkawi route. Thus, the plan to add more trips through Kuala Perlis is left hanging at the moment.

“We foresee that visitors to visit Lima ’23 could face difficulties in planning their trips particularly in booking accommodation,” he told the New Straits Times.

The delay in dredging in waters near the Kuala Perlis jetty may inconvenience visitors to the upcoming Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2023 (Lima ‘23) in May.

On Jan 9, Northern Region Marine Department director Mohd Hafiz Abdul Majid said dredging near the Kuala Perlis jetty, which was supposed to enable more Kuala Perlis-Langkawi ferry trips, would be delayed by four months.

He was reported as saying that the project, which was approved in February 2022, was behind schedule, with the contractor requesting an extension until May 20.

However, the department and other stakeholders insisted for the project be completed by April 30.

Baharin said there were more ferries operating from Kuala Kedah compared with Kuala Perlis.

He said visitors travelling to Langkawi by ferry preferred the Kuala Perlis jetty due to its shorter travel time, cheaper fare, ample parking and congestion-free highway connections.

The ferry service from Kuala Perlis to Langkawi has been suspended for two days due to the low tide yesterday.

The ferry operator said it was unsafe for the ferry to ply the route since the sea could be as shallow as 1.6m.

Passengers travelling to Langkawi were advised to take the Kuala Kedah ferry.

Baharin urged the federal government to designate Langkawi ferry services as public transport, to alleviate the burden of high diesel debts on ferry operators.

He said it was unfair to point fingers to ferry operators for the lack of tourists arrivals in Langkawi.

“Ferry operators are also burdened by high diesel debts as this service is not classified as a public transportation.

“Currently, ferry operators have to pay high diesel prices, while the high demand for ferry services is merely seasonal.

“Granting public transportation status to all ferry operators will enable many of them to cope with the fluctuating diesel prices in the industry,” he added.

Baharin also suggested the government to reduce operating costs for tourism industry players in Langkawi, allowing them to offer lower rates to visitors.

He suggested that the service tax for the tourism industry to be reviewed and that the government could consider implementing a tax model similar to Thailand’s.

“The reopening of the Thai border is another factor contributing to the low entry of visitors to Langkawi.

“Thailand offers cheaper food, accommodation and tourism products. For example, the hotel rooms are being offered at as cheap as RM60 per night.

“However, in Malaysia, various service taxes are imposed on the tourism industry, pushing further the cost of a holiday in Malaysia as compared to Thailand.

“The government could reduce operating costs for tourism players, allowing them to offer lower prices to tourists by providing special electricity tariff rates for hotel operators,” he added.

Baharin was responding to the grouses raised by Langkawi tourism players yesterday over low visitors arrival despite the current long school break.

They had claimed that the lack of ferry trips as part of the reason for lukewarm business.

Lima ’23 is scheduled to be held from May 23 to 27.

It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe