Two fighter jets take-off at RMAF Air Base in Butterworth. (insert Lim Guan Eng).- Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng says he was not informed of the proposed re-development of the Butterworth RMAF base.
He expressed reservations on the need to carry out a development project in the area and questioned how the new project, which reportedly would cost RM13bil, would benefit residents there.
“We only found out about the project when it was published in the newspapers.
“We want an explanation on how the project will benefit the people,” he said at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
Lim, who is Bagan MP, said the relocation of the RMAF base involved a land swap covering 558ha.
“What are the next plans for the airbase?
“What are the development plans for the area? How is it going to affect the people there?” he added.
Lim hoped the relevant ministry would respond to the questions raised on the project as soon as possible.
On Sunday, Tasek Gelugor Umno division chief Datuk Shabudin Yahaya said residents were strongly against the project as they were worried that it would have a negative impact.
He added that residents did not want the airbase to be relocated elsewhere as they regarded its presence there as important to national security.
Shabudin also said he would send a letter to the Prime Minister with signatures from his division members and the residents affected by the project.
It was reported last month that TSR Capital Bhd together with Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera and Pembinaan Bukit Timah Sdn Bhd would redevelop the existing 407.5ha airbase into an integrated mixed-use project with a potential gross development value of more than RM10bil.
The land occupied by RMAF in Teluk Air Tawar, about 8km from Butterworth directly opposite Penang Island, would be transformed into “a city of arts and leisure”.