Gerakan fears PTMP may become a white elephant

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Gerakan is concerned that the multi-billion ringgit Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) may turn into a white elephant if the proposed Kulim International Airport (KXP) takes off.

State Gerakan chairman Oh Tong Keong said with the construction of KXP, located 46km from the Penang International Airport (PIA), there was a likelihood that industries, particularly those from Taiping, Seberang Jaya, Kulim and Alor Star, which had been using PIA might use KXP instead.

“With the imminent negative impact on the state’s economy, we fear the components in PTMP, such as the light rail transit (LRT) and highways, may end up becoming white elephant projects, as there would not be enough people using them.

“There is no way KXP would complement PIA... it is more of a direct competitor and Penang will bear the brunt of it,” he said today.

The RM46 billion PTMP project is aimed at addressing the state’s traffic woes.

Oh, who is Gerakan national deputy president, said it would make more sense for the Kedah state government to expand the existing Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Alor Star, to minimise the impact on Penang.

Elaborating, Oh said PIA might very well end up becoming another Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport or worse upon the completion of KXP.

“Look at Subang Airport (Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport). Now, only two airline companies are operating out of Subang.

“PIA may meet the same fate in future. It sure looks like Pakatan Harapan is trying to ‘hijack’ Penang with KXP.

“Where is the voice of former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng, who had in 2014 opposed the construction of the proposed Kulim Airport?

“Now that he is the finance minister, he has made a U-turn with regards to KXP.

“What about Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow?

“He must state his stance clearly on KXP. There are no two ways about it,” he added.

He said DAP leaders Chow, Lim and Transport Minister Anthony Loke appeared to be afraid of their Pakatan Harapan ally, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).

“It seems that DAP leaders are now afraid of Bersatu.

“They dare not go against the prime minister and the Kedah menteri besar, who is also from Bersatu,” he said.

KXP is one of the seven mega projects announced for Kedah recently, apart from a manufacturing industries and logistics hub in Sidam near Kulim; two phases of the Northern Corridor highway project over a 70-km stretch; a digital library in Alor Star; a petrochemical industrial park in Gurun and the Kasih Ibu Darul Aman programme.

The projects are part of an effort to draw foreign investment to the state.

Chow had repeatedly brought his concerns about KXP and had sought assurances from the Federal Government that it would not affect the running of PIA.

Lim recently said his ministry had no reasons to object to the KXP project as it would not involve public funds.

Source: https://bitlylink.com/F8RC4

 

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