The federal government has to find other methods to finance the expansion of the Penang International Airport, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
He said this was because the federal government had no money, all of which had been “taken by certain people”.
The former Penang chief minister said a proposal to expand the Penang airport had already been mooted and he hoped the project will be carried out early next year.
“The expansion project and any allocations have yet to be approved. So we need to find other means to fund the project because the federal government’s finances are extremely limited.
“We are now waiting for a project paper to be tabled to Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), the transport ministry and the finance ministry.
Guan Eng said the airport had already seen 7.2 million passengers last year, which was beyond its current capacity of 6.5 million passengers.
“I think this year, the number of passengers will come up to between 7.7 million and 7.8 million.
“It (the situation at the airport) will become worse than a night market, which is why we really need the expansion.”
In a reply, its minister, Anthony Loke Siew Fook, said as a short-term measure, the ministry, through Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), is planning to implement optimisation measures at the terminal to reduce the congestion, especially during peak hours.
As a long-term measure, MAHB planned to increase the passenger handling capacity from 6.5 million passengers a year to 12 million passengers a year. It was now in the process of appointing a consultant through an open tender.
As for the details on the project’s overall costs, this was subject to detailed studies which would be carried out by the appointed consultant.
Source: Free Malaysia Today