Thursday, May 23, 2013

Penang Sungai Nibong Express Bus Terminal management takeover postponed

Operator stopped paying rent as the council failed implementing an e-ticketing system

Disquiet in the air: A confrontation between Sungai Nibong Express Bus Terminal management staff and MPPP enforcement personnel at the main gate of the terminal in Sungai Nibong, Penang.
 
EFFORTS by the Penang Muni-cipal Council (MPPP) to take over the management of the Sungai Nibong Express Bus Ter-minal were halted following a three-hour confrontation with the current operator.

The council postponed its action to take vacant possession of the terminal following the resistance, and called off some 50 council enforcement personnel at the scene.

Several enforcement personnel had arrived there as early as 7.30am Tuesday.

Their arrival was anticipated by the operator Aspirasi Utara Engi-neering (AUE) and a few of its staff members and representatives confronted the MPPP personnel.

Their exchange heated up from around 8.30am, and the group steadily grew to about 50 MPPP enforcement personnel and 20 people from AUE about three hours later.

MPPP Valuation Department deputy director Mohamed Idrus Saleh then briefed the enforcement team that their operation was being postponed.

In a written statement issued to reporters at the scene, the council said it had terminated the appointment of AUE as the operator of the terminal effective June 30, 2012.

It also said that AUE had on July 24, 2012, obtained an ex-parte order from the High Court to pro- hibit MPPP from taking any enforcement action concerning the bus terminal.

“The High Court then on Dec 28, 2012, set aside the ex-parte order after dismissing AUE’s inter-parte application for an injunction.

“The court also dismissed AUE’s application (pending its appeal) for an Erinford injunction on the same day, and dismissed its application for stay of execution on Feb 22 this year,” read the statement.

It also stated that MPPP, as the local authority and owner of the bus terminal, wanted to take over the management of the terminal in the interests of the public and users.

AUE legal advisor Mohd Noor Sirajajudeen Mohd Abdul Kader said they resisted the operation by MPPP because the personnel had come without a court order.

“They just came and pasted the notice to take over the management on the window of our office here on Monday morning,” he said.

He added that MPPP’s action was not in accordance with the law.

Company director Mohd Faisal Sirashahabudeen Mohd Abdul Kader said MPPP’s attempt to take over the management and the termination notice were still subject matters in court.

“The issue is still in court and MPPP’s action is deemed a disrup-tion to the administration of justice and contempt of court,” Mohd Faisal said.

He then ordered the council personnel to leave the terminal within 45 minutes.

He said the company had been appointed by MPPP to be the operator since 2010 but stopped paying the monthly rental of RM22,500 in January 2012 as the council had failed to implement an e-ticketing system.

The terminal was built by the MPPP in 2004 and has 41 ticket counters, five stalls, a restaurant, a bakery, 10 parking spaces for buses and 12 route platforms

By WINNIE YEOH winnie@thestar.com.my Photos by ZHAFARAN NASIB

Footnote:

Penang Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal

Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal is the centralised long distance express bus terminal on Penang Island. It was opened in May 2005, before that long distance express bus runs from Komtar, Georgetown. Though most express bus companies have relocated their operation to Sungai Nibong bus terminal, even until today, there are still some express bus companies departing from Komtar, Georgetown. For these groups of buses, they depart from Komtar then go to Sungai Nibong to pick up another group of passengers before leaving the island for the destinations. This is especially convenient for tourist who usually spends time and stays hotel in Georgetown area.

Sungai Nibong bus terminal is located about mid-way between northern and southern end of Penang Island. It is near the famous Penang bridge about 20 minutes to the city centre. Many city bus coaches arrive and depart from this terminal. Please check MyRapid for Penang city bus network details.

How do get to Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal?

The best way to get to Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal are by taxis and city buses.

Taxi fare from Georgetown area to Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal is around RM 25-35, whereas the travelling time is about 15 minutes.

Bus fare is RM 2 from from Georgetown area to Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal, whereas the travelling time is about 20 minutes. Do prepare yourself earlier if you are rushing for bus, in case of heavy traffic and longer waiting time for the bus.

How do get to city, Georgetown, from Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal?

The best way to get to city from Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal are by taxis and city buses.

Taxi stand is just in front of the Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal.

As for city bus, you can easily find the it from the two bus stops at the Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal. One is located at the front entrance of the terminal (along Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah) and the other one is located at the side entrance of the terminal (along Jalan Sungai Dua, at the opposite site of the terminal for town direction).

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