KUALA LUMPUR (March 9): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary has informed him that the tycoon could not afford to support the development of Kulim International Airport (KXP) in Kedah that will cost RM7 billion.
“Syed Mokhtar called me just now saying ‘sorry I am not ready to go ahead with the project’,” Anwar told Dewan Rakyat in his winding up speech for the revised Budget 2023.
“I want to say this in Parliament, with Hansard. [Syed Mokhtar] said there is such a proposal, but he cannot afford to go ahead, because the total [project cost] amounts to RM7 billion,” said Anwar.
Anwar, who is also the finance minister, pointed out that the KXP project was not reviewed by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Transport (MoT) previously.
“But it (KXP project) was not studied by EPU, MOF and MOT, just announced like that, what kind of administration is this?
“Our projects are not like this, whichever states have proposals, must be collectively decided through central agencies,” Anwar told the Dewan Rakyat.
He highlighted that the reason that the KXP project did not materialise was that ECK Group, the company that was chosen as the strategic partner, had cancelled its proposal.
Nonetheless, Anwar stressed that if the Kedah state government wants to revive the proposed Kulim Airport project, the state is free to submit fresh proposals and the Federal Government will study it.
“If [the State Government] really wants to develop [Kulim Airport], propose it, propose again, we will study it. If it is really reasonable, I trust the MOT, who is more patient than me, we [can] study about it,” he added.