Marudi ferry service serves some 500,000 in 2020

MIRI: The Marudi ferry service recorded almost 500,000 passengers having crossed Baram River last year, said Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing Datu Dr Penguang Manggil.

The highest passenger volume was registered in December, at 47,588 travellers – with the peak reaching 3,248 passengers on Dec 11, he stated.

“The December 2020 numbers underlined the heavy traffic coming to and from Marudi during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Photo shows a ferry point in Marudi, where there is one iron gate at the embarking/disembarking point on land, and another on the ferry itself – meant to keep vehicles away from the ramp upon the ferry’s departure and arrival.

“On monthly average, the ferries in Marudi had transported 40,000 (passengers) in 2020,” Penguang, who is Marudi assemblyman, told The Borneo Post here yesterday.

He pointed out that the two ferries at Sungai Ridan ferry point transported nearly 40,000 private vehicles, 5,100 motorcycles and 1,300 lorries and other heavy vehicles in December last year alone.

This underlined the importance of the link provided by the ferry service in Marudi, he said, adding that the travellers comprised the Marudi folk themselves and also those from the neighbouring Telang Usan and Beluru districts.

On the security features at every ferry point in Marudi, Penguang said two iron gates had been installed – one on land and the other on the ferry itself – to ensure that there would be no vehicle on the ramp once the ferry had departed or about to arrive.

Vehicles disembark from the ferry at the Sungai Ridan point in Marudi.

On the heavy traffic load that the Marudi ferry operation had been accommodating all this while, Penguang called upon all ferry users to always be patient, pay heed to the instructions given by the operating staff and comply strictly with the stipulated standard operating procedures (SOP) in every trip.

“All passengers must disembark from their vehicles; the drivers must remain inside, but they must also open the windows throughout the whole process.”

On the Triso tragedy in Sebuyau on Jan 1, where a four-wheel drive vehicle (4WD) plunged into Batang (River) Lupar – killing all nine occupants, Penguang called upon the public to give space to the police and other relevant agencies to conduct their respective investigations.

“We should refrain from the ‘blame game’.

“We need to put or trust to the police and the relevant authorities to investigate the cause of the incident and most likely, they would come up with the recommendations to prevent such tragedy from reoccurring,” he added.

Penguang was confident that every ferry operator in Sarawak had undergone proper training and gained vast experience from handling the operations in their respective locations for years, but he also highlighted the importance of the cooperation between them and the public in upholding all the SOP and requirements meant to ensure optimal public safety.

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