Move to lure foreign yacht owners


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 10 Jul 2003

BY ANTHONY TAN

ALOR STAR: Yacht owners from all over the world will soon be able to register their vessels in Langkawi and fly the Malaysian flag, Transport Minister Datuk Chan Kong Choy said. 

He said the Parliament and Senate had recently passed the Langkawi Yacht Registry Bill to set up the Langkawi Yacht Registry. 

“We are targeting to launch the registry in September,” he told reporters here yesterday after paying a courtesy call on Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Syed Razak Syed Zain and attending a briefing on the expansion of the Alor Star airport. 

It was Chan’s first official visit to a state after being appointed Transport Minister. 

Chan said the ministry would immediately look into all the details including the incentives to be given and bylaws after the Act was gazetted. 

FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT: Chan paying a courtesy call on Syed Razak at the latter's office in Alor Atar on Wednesday. It was Chan's first official visit to a state after being appointed Transport Minister.

He said the creation of the registry was aimed at attracting yacht owners from all over the world to register their vessels in Langkawi and use the facilities at the resort island. 

Chan also said the ministry would seriously consider the request from Seri Syed Razak to complete the RM130mil Sultan Abdul Halim Airport project next year instead of 2005. 

“I will chair a meeting with the ministry's secretary-general and contractor to find ways on how to complete the project sooner,” he added after attending a briefing on the project. 

He said the project, which includes the lengthening of the runway to accommodate the Airbus A330 aircraft, was now scheduled for completion in August2005 with commercial operations to begin in October 2005. 

Chan said the ministry would also seriously consider other projects proposed by Syed Razak, especially the creation of the Kuala Kedah port. 

In the briefing earlier, Transport Ministry secretary-general Datuk Zaharah Shaari said a new two-storey terminal building would also be built as part of the airport expansion. 

Zaharah said the new building would have two aerobridges, 200 car park lots, an annexe for the VIP lounge, viewing deck and capacity to handle 300 passenger per hour compared to 114 in the existing one-storey terminal. 

She said the passenger traffic at the airport was projected to increase from 287,000 last year to 432,000 in 2008.  

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