Big dreams (courtesy of Istana Bukit Tunku) morning

Economic development plans and strategic programs for Kedah is almost non-realisable for Dato’ Seri Mukhriz Mahathir’s second round of Menteri Besar-ship but with the exception of his personal obsession of building a brand new airport for Northern Corridor which is in South Kedah area.

NST story:

RM1.6 billion Kulim International Airport project will kick off, not mere words – Kedah MB

DECEMBER 13, 2018 @ 6:00PM  

BY HAMZAH OSMAN

It is very interesting that MB Mukhriz is focused on capitalising on the limitation of Penang’s Bayan Lepas International Airport not able for further expansion and the growth potential for air logistics, particularly cargo operations.

The NST report also mentioned that Federal Government is not against this infrastructure project, provided if it is developed on a Private Financing Initiative (PFI).

It is interesting how to mobilise this project fully on PFI model.

First of all, thousands of acres are required to be acquired for the project, to start with.

Then the construction. At the same time, all the leg work to get the airport operations and businesses, particularly to get international cargo traffic into the new airport.

Usually, a new airport would either be in an existing one or operations of an original airport be transferred into the new one.

Just like KLIA moved from Subang to its present site in Sepang in August 1997. Later, Subang was turned into a community airport.

There is definitely merit in this idea. However, it is an infrastructure right at the top of the pyramid and lesser but more realisable low fruit infrastructure projects MB Mukhriz should give attention to and priority, ahead of such a mega project.

The Kedah State Government isn’t in the position to start this mega project of. They neither have the capital nor competency.

It is then up to other agencies, like Northern Corridor, to kick this off. Along with firms with massive estates in the said area, like Sime Darby Plantations.

Then again, if Sime Darby Plantations would be game in such a strategic investment.

The new Kulim cargo airport would have to ‘pinch’ the growth now being enjoyed by Penang International.

The Star story:

Export cargo volume at Penang airport seen rising 8%


GEORGE TOWN: The volume of export cargo handled at the Penang International Airport is projected to rise by 8% in 2018 to 69,630 tonnes from 65,747 tonnes in 2017.

Penang Freight Forwarders Association secretary-general Ali Ahmad told StarBiz the increase indicated that the local electrical and electronic (E&E) industries was in a healthy state.

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“The feedback on export figures for the third quarter has been positive.

“We expect a slight decrease in the final quarter, as most of the finished electronic goods have already been shipped out in the third quarter,” he said.

Finished electronic goods make up about 70% of the export cargo, according to Ali.

“The export from the Free Industrial Zone has risen steadily since three years ago,” he said.

The imported cargo handled, however, is forecast to decline by 12% to 58,000 tonnes from 65,305 tonnes in 2017.

“The decrease has to do with a weaker ringgit, which made buying from overseas expensive,” Ali said.

He added that if not for the competition from Middle-Eastern Airlines that offer competitive freight rates operating from KL International Airport, the export cargo figures from Penang International Airport would be higher.

“It would easily be a growth of 15% and not 8%,” he added.

Ali said the federal and state governments should quickly look into making the establishment of an integrated cargo complex at the Penang International Airport a reality.

“Currently, there are two cargo terminals. An integrated cargo complex would cut operational costs of freight forwarders and shorten clearance time,” he said.


Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2018/12/10/export-cargo-volume-at-penang-airport-seen-rising-8/#L6PDx7vZXafWUzoZ.99

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If compounded of 8% year-on-year, probably it could reach in the neighbourhood of 50% from the current level in five years time.


The contentious point, like anything with the Pakatan Harapan since taking over nine months ago is the ability to follow through.

Would MB Mukhriz able to muster the follow through of such a mega project, when there is so much uncertainty pertaining to politics, be it at national level, within the PH coalition, within PPBM and even at Kedah level.

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Published in: on February 11, 2019 at 10:00  Leave a Comment