KUALA LUMPUR: The government must clearly spell out details of the proposed RM1.6bil Kulim International Airport (KXP) project to the people, says MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).
He made the call after the proposed project was questioned by several lawmakers in Parliament on Wednesday (March 27).
“You have to let the rakyat know what is being proposed.
“On the one hand, they say that they have approved the budget for the project in Kulim, but at the same time, they say that the project will be given to the private sector,” he said when met at the Parliament lobby.
He added that Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin provided no clear answer when the issue was raised by several lawmakers during debates.
Dr Wee, who is Ayer Hitam MP, said the government must be clear on how it intends to finance the project.
“There was even a Pakatan Harapan lawmaker who expressed disappointment that the people may end up forking out money for the project,” he added.
Earlier in the Dewan Rakyat, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN-Bera) questioned the rationale behind building another international airport in Kedah.
He said the state already has the Langkawi International Airport and Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Alor Setar.
“Besides this, Kulim and the Penang International Airport are situated close to each other.
“What is the rationale for spending such a large amount of money for a new airport?” he said.
Datuk Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid (PH-Kapar) wanted an assurance from the government that the project would not end up being funded with the rakyat’s money.
In response to this, Dr Mohd Radzi said the proposed airport in Kulim would be a catalyst for development in Kedah and the northern region.
He cited the example of Sydney, Australia, which has two airports close to each other.
“How can you compare Sydney to Kulim? Kulim only has padi fields,” Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) interjected.
On March 19, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali announced an RM4.8bil allocation for several projects in Kedah, including the KXP project.However, two days later on March 21, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that the airport project would be an initiative funded by the private sector.