Chow asks Putrajaya to clarify if proposed Kulim International Airport approved

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow during a visit to The Habitat at Penang Hill October 29, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow during a visit to The Habitat at Penang Hill October 29, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 29 — Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has asked the federal government to clarify if the proposed Kulim International Airport (KXP) was approved at the National Physical Planning Council (NPPC).

The Penang lawmaker, who also attended the NPPC meeting two days ago, said it appeared that the KXP was tabled to the NPPC meeting and the NPPC issued a list of advice for the Kedah government to comply with.

“I do not know whether approval is the correct word to use. NPPC only gave advice, like for our PSR. It was a whole list of advice that you have to comply with before you can start the project. Similarly for KXP, it is the same mechanism,” he told the media after launching the first nature classroom for preschoolers at The Habitat Penang Hill.

Chow said it is best that Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong or Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who chaired the NPPC, clarify if it was an approval for KXP or if it was similar to the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) which was tabled for advice in April last year.

He added that the Transport Ministry had, during the meeting, reiterated that the ministry would not consider any airport projects until the National Airport Strategic Plan (NASP) study is completed.

“For this particular project, they have a host of studies to be one, EIA, SIA, which they have not started yet,” he said,

He said the prime minister had told the Kedah government to complete the studies before coming back to NPPC.

“It was tabled but to say it was approved and they can start work, no,” he said.

Chow pointed at the PSR project as an example.

“PSR got the ‘approval’ with the advice in April 2019 and it's already been one-and-a-half years and still we are not able to start. It is the same process that KXP has to go through,” he said.

When asked if he believed the proposed KXP will be a waste of funds, Chow said it is up to the transport minister to comment.

He said the Transport Ministry made clear its stand on the need for an airport in the northern region in its report that was tabled with the KXP application.

“Maybe we need to look at the report to get a clearer picture on this. I believe it is better for the transport minister to comment on this,” he said.

Yesterday, Kedah Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said the KXP was approved by the NPPC and that the Transport Ministry had promised to speed up the NASP study on KXP.

He reportedly said the Transport Ministry will work on implementing the KXP in line with the NASP study.

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