24-hour open border a boon for state, says MB


ALOR SETAR: Having the Bukit Kayu Hitam-Danok checkpoint open 24 hours a day will benefit the economy and boost state tourism, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ah­­mad Bashah Md Hanipah.

He said the planned round-the-clock operation should not be seen from a negative perspective.

“It will have a socio-economic benefit for Kedah, particularly through developments in the Indo­­nesia-Malaysia-Thailand triangle region. We can profit from transportation especially from Thai vehicles carrying agricultural goods into the country.

“It will also spur Bukit Kayu Hitam’s growth as an industrial area in view of the state government’s plan to establish a 6,000-acre (2,428ha) tax-free area, including the Kedah Science Technology Park,” he told the state assembly here yesterday.

Ahmad Bashah said the state and private sector would combine their resources to build facilities such as hotels, houses and shopping complexes to woo visitors.

The new system, he said, could also resolve the congestion that has been happening for years, especially during the holiday period.

Ahmad Bashah said the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minis­­ter, who is also the Home Minister, have given the nod to the move during the Mentri Besar and Chief Ministers’ Meeting.

“The Federal Government in principle has agreed to the 24-hour operation from the current 18 hours while the state government will scrutinise all relevant issues, in particular, security,” he said in response to a question from Datuk Ahmad Zaini Japar (BN-Bukit Kayu Hitam).

Ahmad Bashah added that all agencies at the Customs, Immi­gra­tion and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex at Bukit Kayu Hitam were fully prepared for the change.

kedah state assembly