GEORGE TOWN: A private financing initiative (PFI) is not a good reason to have an airport in Kulim, say Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (pic).
He said the real issue here is that there is still room for cargo capacity to grow at the Penang International Airport (PIA).
"Well, we in Penang have voiced our concerns and it is still too early to confirm what type of airport the one in Kulim will be," said Chow when asked why would a cargo airport cost RM1.6bil at a press conference after the state legislative assembly sitting here on Friday (May 3).
He was responding to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng's statement that Penang had nothing to fear as the Kulim Airport was an PFI and not a government project.
"The Finance Minister speaks for the federal government, but that doesn't mean the state could accept the proposal," said Chow.
Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir confirmed in an interview with Astro Awani on Friday that the Kulim Airport would only handle cargo and not passengers.
The Kulim International Airport proposal, which had been approved by the federal government, had riled up Penang, which Chow said would have a negative effect on PIA.
During his winding-up speech, Chow said the federal government should discard the view that Penang is rich and fully developed and does not need federal funds.
"We can't deny that Penang received the lowest allocation since 2008 for infrastructure projects, public amenities, tourism and others.
"While we requested for RM12.56bil under the 10th Malaysia Plan and RM13.87bil under the 11th Malaysia Plan, what we received was a small amount.
"As such, it will be good if the federal government could review the allocation again and help the state to be part of the country's progress," he said.
The state assembly adjourned sine die after sitting for five days.
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