New Penang Ferries Not Disabled-Friendly?

new penang ferries not disabled-friendly?

Photo via Facebook

Activists are concerned that the new Penang ferries are not disabled-friendly, and that it’ll be dangerous to physically carry them on board.

According to Malaysiakini, former Society of Disabled Persons Penang president Tan Kwan Aw said it’s difficult for wheelchair users to enter these new faster and smaller models, unlike the recently retired older vessels.

“To be carried into the boats is not what we want. The process is often dangerous. For example, I have breathing problems, and I will not be able to breathe if you carry me the wrong way,” he said.

In these new ferries, passengers have to go down a flight of stairs to access the seating area, whereas previously, they could remain seated in the comfort of their own vehicles throughout the 20-minute crossing from the mainland to the island.

“Sometimes people think helping us is the answer, but it is not. They mean well, but they are actually putting us in further danger. If we fall, there's no recovery, it's worse for us,” former Petaling Jaya city councillor Anthony SB Thanasayan told Malaysiakini.

As it stands, the new service operator, Penang Port Sdn Bhd had reportedly assured that an attendant would be on standby to provide assistance, but it still doesn’t ensure the safety of disabled persons using the service.

OKU FRIENDLY SERVICE Special passengers; such as persons with disabilities (OKU), elderly, and pregnant women need not worry about accessibility and moving about in the ferry terminal. Our crew at Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) are stationed and are always ready to help make your travel easier. For those travelling from Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (PSAH), we provided a shuttle van that eases your access to the pontoon area. Thank you very much for your continuous support, for any inquiries please relay your messages to or access our website at __________________________________________________ Penumpang istimewa; seperti orang kelainan upaya (OKU), warga tua, dan wanita hamil tidak perlu bimbang tentang aksesibiliti dan pergerakan di terminal feri. Krew kami di Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) sentiasa bersedia untuk membantu menjadikan perjalanan anda lebih mudah. Bagi mereka yang bergerak dari Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (PSAH), kami menyediakan van ulang-alik yang memudahkan akses anda ke kawasan pontoon feri. Terima kasih atas sokongan anda, untuk sebarang pertanyaan, sila hantarkan mesej anda ke atau akses laman web kami di #ferrytakeover #penangferry #penangport #PPSB #fastferry #SPCT #PPC #penangportcommission #malaysia #penang #ferry #ferryservices #ferryterminal #takeover #penangsentral #swettenhampier #butterworth #PSAH #update #media #travel #commute #publictransport #auxilliarypolice #portpolice #customerservice #customers

Posted by Penang Port on Saturday, January 2, 2021

Malaysiakini also reported that a Penang Port official assured the ferry operator is committed to improving its services and welcomes feedback from all passengers, although it did not receive any related complaints from disabled passengers who came on board in the first three days since the new ferry service commenced operations.

Let’s hope this issue can be resolved soon!


by Kyle Roshen Jacob