The Labuan Marine Department must ensure sufficient trips are provided by ferry service operators plying the Labuan – Menumbok – Labuan route to help prevent travellers from being stranded, especially during festive seasons.

Labuan Member of Parliament Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman said there had been numerous complaints about travellers (local Labuan and Sabah) being unable to celebrate festive seasons with their family members at their respective hometowns due to unavailable ferry tickets or services.

“This issue had been going on for over a decade but the issue has remained unresolved. As there are no signs of the proposed bridge to take off the ground, there must be a solution to this issue,” he told Bernama today.

Suhaili said the Labuan Marine Department should look into this issue as this had been burdening the people for years.

He said the ferry service operators had increased the number of trips for the Labuan-Menumbok-Labuan route every festive season but it has still failed to cope with the increasing number of travellers.

“Labuan Marine Department must consider increasing the trips from nine to 12, and run every hour from 6am to 11pm daily during festive seasons.

“We cannot afford to see people being stranded at the terminal and not getting tickets to return home and be with their families,” he said.

Suhaili also urged the authorities to conduct investigations if there was a possibility that ferry ticket sales in the ‘black market’ are above the published rates.

“I have received complaints about our locals not being able to embark on the ferry even after queuing up in the first row of a waiting list line.

“That seems to be fishy in the arrangement of vehicle onto the ferry, as there are complaints about people getting tickets through the black market to embark the ferry, especially during last minute trips,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency