Minister: KLIA name remains, no request from Selangor to rename airport SIA

Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook says there is no official request from the Pakatan state government to rename Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook says there is no official request from the Pakatan state government to rename Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KULAI, April 18 — The federal government said it has not received any official application from the Selangor state government to rename Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) as Sepang International Airport (SIA).

Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said there was no official request from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) state government on the proposed name change and, as such, the name of Malaysia’s main airport will remain.

“I have not received any requests from the Selangor government on the matter,” he said at Senai International Airport here during his working visit to Johor today.

Selangor state executive councillor Ng Sze Han confirmed separately that the proposal to rename KLIA as SIA was raised in a Selangor state executive council meeting, but nothing has been decided yet.

A page from the minutes of a Selangor exco meeting in October last year, which was leaked online, claimed that the exco had decided to change KLIA’s name to SIA and that Ng would propose this to the National Transport Council.

The decision was purportedly made in line with international practice of using the locality as the official name of the airport.

Loke also said the new Operating Agreement (OA) with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) will reduce the government’s financial burden, and allow the company to engage investors directly to develop the airport’s infrastructure and facilities.

He said under the previous agreement, all airport capacity expenditure costs are borne by the government where there is a need for capital expenditure funds.

“We just could not afford it because all airports need expansion.

“Under this new OA, MAHB would have the flexibility to engage investors and we hope to finalise it by June this year,” said Loke.

Loke, who is also the Seremban MP, revealed that the new OA will have four clusters for KLIA, airports in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

At present, MAHB manages and operates 39 airports nationwide.