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Feasibility study on international airport in Kedah to be initiated

Malaysia's Kedah state government has been informed that the Transport Ministry will initiate its own feasibility study on the recent proposal to build an international airport in Kulim, said Chief Minister Mukhriz Mahathir. 

ALOR SETAR: Malaysia's Kedah state government has been informed that the Transport Ministry will initiate its own feasibility study on the recent proposal to build an international airport in Kulim. Chief Minister Mukhriz Mahathir told the State Legislative Assembly sitting on Tuesday (Aug 12) that the state government, with the consent of the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), would also undertake a similar study to be carried out by the Northern Corridor Implementation Agency (NCIA) soon.

"This proposal (to build the airport) had been submitted directly to the Prime Minister (Mr Najib Razak) and had been discussed with the EPU. Eventually the federal government, via the Transport Ministry and the Finance Ministry, will also be involved in the discussion. Officially, I concede that there is still no response from the federal government, the Prime Minister himself, although he had received the letter from me, there is no feedback on the stand of the federal government (on the airport project).

"However, we are actively discussing with the relevant ministries on the matter," he said when responding to a supplementary question from Ir Phahrolrazi Mohd Zawawi (PAS-Pengkalan Kundor) at the State Assembly sitting. Phahrolrazi had asked on the developments and feedback from the federal government on the proposed airport project, while claiming that the project would incur substantial cost up to RM5 billion. Mr Mukhriz conceded that such a massive project would certainly require substantial cost, and in fact would take a long time for implementation.

Meanwhile, responding to a question from Mr Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah (BN-Bakar Bata) who sought clarification on the rationale for the construction of the airport, he said that besides giving a positive financial impact to the state government and opening employment opportunities, the airport would also become a regional airport for the northern region and southern Thailand. In addition, it also took into consideration the congestion which was expected to occur at the Penang International Airport within the next three years.

On another development, Mr Ahmad Bashah urged the state government to gather funds from state government-owned corporations and the public to help the people of Gaza who became victims of the attacks by the Israeli regime. He said although many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had already made such collections, there was nothing wrong if the state government too took a similar initiative.

Earlier, Mr Ahmad Bashah expressed regret at the action of a Facebook account holder who insulted the King, Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, besides the death threat made against the Kedah Chief Minister. 

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