Lim Guan Eng: My ministry was never told about two proposed international airports for Penang

“So far, both the Transport Minister Anthony Loke and Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir have told me that they know nothing about the two so-called new airport proposals” – Lim Guan Eng. Source (pic): TTF Files

IFinance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today that the Finance Ministry is in the dark over a report about two international airports being in the pipeline for mainland Penang.

According to an English daily, a private company had proposed plans for a new Penang airport to the Federal Government; while another corporation is poised to do the same.

Lim reiterated that the Federal Government’s position, as stated in the 2019 Budget, was clearly to expand the existing Penang International Airport (PIA) to a capacity of 16 million passengers yearly from the present 6.5 million passengers.


GEORGE TOWN: The Finance Ministry is in the dark over a report about two international airports being in the pipeline for mainland Penang.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, echoing the remarks of the Transport Ministry as well as that of the Kedah and Penang governments, said the report had sowed confusion in the communications and transport industries.

This is because the news report by a local English daily had failed to disclose who had attended the briefing or accepted the recommendations for the new airports.


“So far, both the Transport Minister Anthony Loke and Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir have told me that they know nothing about the two so-called new airport proposals.

“The Chief Minister of Penang, Chow Kon Yeow, has also said that the Penang government had no knowledge of it.

“Approval from the state government is critical when it involves land issues,” he said in a statement.

According to the English daily, a private company had proposed plans for a new Penang airport to the Federal Government; while another corporation is poised to do the same.

The former, which is planning to undertake construction of the proposed North Malaysia International Airport (NMIA), plans to build the proposed airport near the border shared by Kedah, Penang and Perak, which is currently a vast track of paddy fields.

The second proposal, the Northern Region International Airport (Noria), will be proposed to the Federal Government soon.

Lim said unless the English daily could prove that it practises responsible journalism by showing evidence and that it was not a figment of its imagination that the Federal Government had considered the proposals, it was on a fishing expedition not worthy of professional journalism.

“Such baseless speculation is also grossly unfair by giving the negative impression that the Federal Government is riding roughshod over the state governments or the rakyat by considering such a massive project involving thousands of hectares of paddy land or 5,000ha of reclaimed land from the sea,” he added.

Lim reiterated that the Federal Government’s position, as stated in the 2019 Budget, was clearly to expand the existing Penang International Airport (PIA) to a capacity of 16 million passengers yearly from the present 6.5 million passengers.

“The expansion of the PIA will be conducted in two phases.

“PIA’s proposed 16 million passengers annually should be able to meet the existing PIA’s capacity of 8 million passengers until 2030.

“There is room for further expansion in the future of PIA to 20 million passengers.

“As for the Kulim International Airport, the Federal Government is awaiting proposals on its construction through private financing initiative (PFI), without requiring any expenditure from the Federal Government.”

The report on the proposed second Penang airport comes after Kedah announced that it would build the RM1.6 billion Kulim International Airport (KXP) via a private financing initiative.

KXP is one of seven mega projects worth RM3 billion recently announced for Kedah.

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