GEORGE TOWN (April 1): The proposed Penang International Airport expansion project should be given priority to proceed ahead of the proposed Kulim Airport in Kedah, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said today.
He said this stand was made by the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC) which was concerned with the proposed Kulim Airport project announced by the Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali recently.
“I have said that we are watching very closely, but of course we want our airport expansion project to go ahead first,” he told reporters after meeting the delegates of the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce at his office here.
According to Chow, since the Kulim Airport project would be a private financing initiative, the chamber had been urged to wait for the company that would be appointed to make public their plan.
“For now we can only say that we are waiting for the private sector company to come forward and to announce its plan,” he said.
Chow said the chamber office-bearers led by their president Datuk Seri Hong Yeam Wah had also requested that local companies be given priority in getting contracts from the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) developments.
He said the PTMP was already entering the final stage of approval and the plan was expected to be tabled at the National Physical Planning Council meeting to be chaired by the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on April 18.
“We would look at the pricing, track record and performance of the companies before awarding any jobs, but rest assured, good performing Penang companies will get the contracts,” he said.
He said the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) was also ready to listen to the request of the chamber to consider lowering the consent fee charged on industrial lands that are sold to investors.
“PDC would normally reinvest the fees collections to improve the facilities at the industrial zones but they are willing to sit down with members of the chamber to discuss about the issue and to review the fee if there is a justification,” he added, without revealing the consent fees.