ALOR STAR, Mar 3 – The Sultan Abdul Halim Airport (LTSAH) here will be upgraded to an international airport within the next five years in the effort to develop Bukit Kayu Hitam as a logistics hub in the north.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, when announcing this, said the airport upgrading should be done as the main attraction to investors as well as the fact that Bukit Kayu Hitam was on the border with Thailand.
“After discussing with the Second Finance Ministers and for the development of Bukit Kayu Hitam, we need to upgrade the Alor Setar Airport (Sultan Abdul Halim) for the next five years as an international airport.
“This upgrade is especially suitable for the logistics development of Bukit Kayu Hitam itself besides bordering Thailand which has a huge potential,” he said in his speech at the Closing Ceremony of the Kedah Muafakat Expo at the Darulaman Stadium compound here today.
Also present were the prime minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.
In addition, Najib said with the upgrading, the airport would facilitate the people of Kedah in performing the haj and umrah. He said the federal government was confident of achieving this aspiration (upgrading LTSAH) for the development of the state of Kedah in particular. “God willing we can do it,” he said.
On Langkawi, Najib said in an effort to make the island the gateway to Malaysia, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad was instructed to include the aerobridge in the implementation of the works to expand the Langkawi International Airport.
“It’s for direct flights and if there is no aerobridge, big aircraft like (those belonging to) Emirates will not come to this state, they need aerobridge for that purpose,” he said. Commenting on Kedah, the Prime Minister said the state would never ever be neglected and would continue to receive the appropriate backing of the federal government.
Najib said it was a tribute to Kedah which was the rice bowl of the country. “The Kedah government needs support from the federal government because the state’s financial resources are very limited … we should appreciate Kedah,” he said.
He said every aid given by the federal government to the people was not a bribe as exhorted by the opposition but it was a government move to help the poor and needy. “Do not insult the people … they still get the assistance from the federal government,” he said.
He said an example was the giving of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) which benefited nearly 600,000 Kedahans. He said it proved the concern of the federal government in helping the needy in fulfilling their basic needs.
“At least their ‘kitchen will be smoking’ and they will get their basic necessities. This is not a bribe and this is a government contribution given to the people in need. BR1M will continue, “he said.
On water supply problems in the state, Najib reiterated his commitment to help the people in enjoying the basic amenities through an allocation of RM1 billion to upgrade five water treatment plants.
“The five plants will be implemented in phases and the people will get more benefits and I hope Kedah will remain under the leadership of the Barisan Nasional,” he said.
Najib later launched the Kedah State Development Plan 2019-2035, among others, focusing on four key elements, namely, diversifying the state’s economic fundamentals, promoting holistic and sustainable development, enhancing the well-being of the people and providing the state with the strength of character, human capital and the energy of youths as the main impetus. — Bernama