Kedah to commence iconic projects first quarter of 2020, says Mukhriz

ALOR SETAR (Bernama): With 2020 just around the corner, the Kedah government is determined to embark on several iconic projects in the first quarter of next year that will drive the state's economic growth, while improving the quality of life of its people.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir (pic) said the Kedah government has been working closely with the Federal Government, which provided funding for the projects, and expressed hope that all plans will be implemented as scheduled.

"We can no longer be in the planning mode because most of these projects have been announced when I was the mentri besar for the first time in 2013, so now we have to implement them," he said in a special interview with Bernama and RTM Kedah here.

He said there would be a delay in the implementation of the projects if the allocations approved by the Finance Ministry, and already channelled to the relevant ministries were not utilised soon.

"We don't want the works only to start in September, or perhaps in the following year. Hence, if the works commenced in the first quarter of 2020, people will see that we are working on delivering our promises," he said.

Mukhriz said among the projects to commence in the first quarter of 2020 are the Kedah Science and Technology Park (KSTP) and the Logistics Hub in Bukit Kayu Hitam, managed by the Northern Gateway Sdn Bhd, a company owned by the Minister of Finance (Incorporated).

"Bukit Kayu Hitam is experiencing rapid development... the Kedah Rubber City project in Bukit Ketapang will also commence next year. We have met with investors at the international forums and conferences on the rubber industry and many who have expressed interest.

"We expect to see these investors in the first and second quarter of next year and I hope that all will be realised... and we will see dramatic changes at the border," he said.

Meanwhile, regarding the existing Kulim Hi-Tech Park (KHTP), he said the technology park which has been operating since 1996 remains one of the most successful projects in the country, especially in Kedah.

"To date, about RM31bil has been spent by the local private and foreign investors (at the KHTP) and 27,000 jobs have been created where 95 percent are locals. Of the total, 80 percent are Kedahans.

He said in view of the great benefits of the KHTP, the state government would expand the park (according to the plan) by doubling the size.

Touching on the Kulim International Airport (KXP), Mukhriz said that the relevant parties were currently in the process of preparing a more detailed master plan and feasibility study and the process has gone relatively smooth.

"Next year, we will see the initial work to be carried out at KXP," he said.

Mukhriz also acknowledged that the Kedah government's aspirations and plans to implement various mega projects would not be realised without the full support of the federal government.

"If a country wants to grow rapidly, one of the things to bear in mind is to give due attention to states which are categorised as poor and if the issue is left unattended, it will be like having a parachute mounted on the rear of a car, how can we reach the destination if something is slowing down the speed?

"Hence, it would not be a waste if the federal government pay attention to the 'poor' states and Kedah is one of them. If left alone Kedah could not catch up with other states and the federal government's attention will spur the state's growth, bringing prosperity to the state and the country," he said. - Bernama

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