15 May 2019
Press statement by MCA Vice President Datuk Tan Teik Cheng
Repeatedly changing stance, Guan Eng shirks concerns that Kulim Airport undermines Penang Airport & Penang state
On the Lim Guan Eng’s remarks that the “private sector wants to put in billions into the (Kulim) airport (KXP), it won’t hurt (the Penang International Airport [PIA]) and it will bring development to Kedah (The Malay Mail Online, 14 May 2019),” the Finance Minister must realise it is not a question of who bears construction costs, but whether it is feasible to have two international airports within a mere distance of 50 kilometers.
It is unfortunate that for a matter which will undermine the economic prospects and growth of Penang, the former Penang Chief Minister constantly dodges the concerns by shifting attention away. Clearly, he is attempting to mask his and DAP’s undermined voices within the Pakatan Cabinet and as the KPX plan was determined by the Cabinet and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad. As a Cabinet member, Guan Eng is left unable to resist the KXP as he shudders going against Dr Mahathir’s decision.
Current Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow had said clearly that the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) is not a reasonable reason, and that while KXP is good for Kulim and Kedah, the same cannot be said for Penang.
Throughout these while, Kon Yeow has looked up to Guan Eng has a leader. However, Guan Eng even defended KXP by remarking that “it is not fair for the PIA to get an expansion without allowing Kedah to get its proposed Kulim Airport which does not even involve public funds (Malay Mail Online, 14 May 2019)”. This is enough to prove that not only has Guan Eng wielded a wrong position in Cabinet, he failed to defend Penang. His performance as a DAP leader is dissatisfactory.
Penangites have opposed the construction of the Kulim airport several times over. In addition to heavy political interests, KXP sits a mere 46 kilometres away from the existing Penang terminal. Once complete, KXP will threaten the status of PIA, reduce the usage of existing cargo facilities at PIA besides causing investors to leave Penang.
MCA Penang totally opposes the proposal and policy by the Pakatan federal government to construct Kulim Airport as it seriously affects the interests of Penang. Guan Eng must realise the issues at stake far outweigh the Private Finance Initiative for KXP.
Datuk Tan Teik Cheng
MCA Penang State Liaison Committee Chairman
MCA Vice President