KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — Berjaya Corp Bhd founder and executive chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan offered today to build a new airport on Pulau Tioman at no cost to the federal government.
The tycoon said it was his way of helping the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration under Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, which has said the country is saddled with a massive RM1 trillion debt.
“We are looking for an infrastructure project and will propose to the government. We want to finance the project ourselves with loans from banks. We won’t burden the government.
“We are looking at the Tioman Airport project. We understand the country’s finances are not in the best shape now. We are willing to work with partners, to privatise and finance it, but the government can arrange it,” he told a news conference here today.
Previously, Berjaya organised flights to the island off the coast of Pahang in the South China Sea, one of the world’s top diving destinations, until 2014 when Malaysia suffered a series of air crashes, most notably the still-missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
There had been plans to extend the airport runway a decade ago, but it was scuppered by then-transport minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat due to environmental concerns.
The airport project was revived last year under the Barisan Nasional government, which lost federal power in the May 9 general election.