GEORGE TOWN, Nov 19 — The government will leverage the twin engines of the tourism industry in Penang, namely the port and airport, to ensure the state’s economy receives a positive long-term impact.

Minister of Transport Anthony Loke Siew Fook said the Federal government has made several announcements that are expected to increase tourist arrivals and make Penang a cargo delivery centre in northern Malaysia.

“I have discussed with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) to expand the Penang International Airport so that handling capacity increases almost double to 12 million passengers per year.

“We have asked MAHB to find an immediate approach so that this project can be completed before the upcoming General Election,” he said in his opening speech at the Annual Penang DAP Convention 2023 here today.

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Besides that, he said the government’s decision to upgrade and expand the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal announced in 2018 also had a positive impact on the state’s economy, which boosted the cruise sector in Penang.

Loke, who is also DAP Secretary-General, said the terminal upgrade project was a manifestation of the Ministry of Transport’s move to make the state a “homeport” for international shipping companies.

Furthermore, he said port and airport are seen as two crucial factors in the economic strength of an island.

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“Developing these twin engines is also important to support the electronics industry in Penang,” he added. — Bernama