Gerakan points out state govt’s contradictory statements on Kulim airport

GEORGE TOWN: The Kedah and Penang governments are misleading the people up north about the proposed Kulim International Airport by giving conflicting statements, says Gerakan.

Its deputy president Oh Tong Keong, said that Gerakan had prepared a timeline from 2014 until last week which revealed leaders giving conflicting views about the airport five times, especially Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who had initially supported the project but a week later opposed it.

Even Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng was quoted as opposing the airport on June 15 in 2014 but last month, he spoke in favour of it, saying that it would be privately funded and constructed.

“Whether it is public or privately funded or even free, it does not make (economic) sense to have an airport near the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas,“ Oh told a press conference here.

In 2014, it was mooted as an international airport, and now Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir was quoted as saying that it was one solely for cargo, said Oh.

“The earthworks have yet to begin but there are already controversies and conflicting statements about it,” he said.

What Gerakan learnt was that having another airport just 46 km from Penang, was a form of an economic sabotage of the state, said Oh.

Using Subang as an illustration, he said when most of its airport operations shifted to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, the one in Subang lost its sparkle. It resulted in a massive relocation of factories and other services out of the suburban neighbourhood of Petaling Jaya to other parts of the Klang Valley.

“In the end, Subang lost its lustre as an aviation hub. Even though, it remains an airport, the passenger load has decreased significantly,“ said Oh, adding that Penang will also see a situation where the property prices would fall because a major transport connection has lost its significance.

“We are looking at factories relocating to Kulim or elsewhere.”

Oh said that by acceding to the demands of Kedah, Penang will find its growth hijacked by a neighbour who cannot think of other ways to grow its economy other than to compete with Penang.

Oh’s colleague H’ng Khoon Leng said the Kulim airport would compete rather than compliment Penang.

Gerakan called for both Kedah and Penang to address the misgivings of the people here that an airport in Kulim, would mark the decline of Penang as a leading state.

Source: https://bitlylink.com/yl1Mj

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