Perak wants Govt to keep promise and upgrade airport

IPOH: Perak has urged the Federal Government to fulfil its promise to improve and expand the under-utilised Sultan Azlan Shah Airport here.

The state executive councillor in charge of transport Nga Kor Ming said the development promise was made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the opening of a trade exposition here in June last year.

“A promise is a promise, and the Federal Government should allocate the funds for the development as soon as possible,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

“Otherwise, give us the authority if the Government is incapable of developing the airport,” he said, adding that the terminal upgrade and runway extension would cost about RM170mil.

The Pakatan Rakyat state government, Nga said, would find the means to develop the airport and would consider having it privately financed.

Nga said he had brought up the matter in Parliament, but Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat had announced instead that the ministry had plans to build an airport in Negri Sembilan.

Nga also called on the Government to get Firefly, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, to fly here. Perak lacked an efficient airline cargo system and was losing out on foreign investments, Nga said.

He added that representatives from India, Australia, Britain and Japan had expressed interest in investing in the state.

Nga also urged the Government to re-examine the price of subsidised diesel for fishermen, saying some 5,000 of them from Hutan Melintang, Pantai Remis and Kuala Sepetang had threatened to go on strike for three days from next Friday if the price was not lowered to RM1 a litre from the current RM1.43.

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