Saturday, January 31, 2009

Guan Eng challenges Tee Keat - Malaysiakini

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 —DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng wants the Transport Minister to state clearly the federal government's stand on the controversial deal to build a new, separate airport for low-cost airlines in Labu, Negri Sembilan.

Previously, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat announced the proposed Labu low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) project had been given the green light by the Cabinet.

Yesterday, the Deputy Prime Minister called off the deal.

Lim expressed concern over the way the matter was being treated.

"This is a very big issue, not only because of the cost of the project but because of its implications as well. Now we are confused. Who is actually in charge?" Lim asked.

"Next time, if there are any questions on airports or transport, do we go to him or do we go to Najib and bypass Ong Tee Keat?" he asked.

Lim also wanted Ong to explain the federal government's reasons for building a new airport in an isolated location, saying that the suggested place did not "make economic sense".

He noted that AirAsia boss Datuk Tony Fernandes has accused Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (MAHB) of being a "stumbling block" to the growth of the air transport industry.

But he also noted there was a need for a new LCCT to help boost economic growth and suggested that Penang can be the "logistics hub for the Northern Corridor Economic Region" as it is also the "gateway" to tri-lateral relations among the golden triangle of Malaysia-Thailand-Indonesia.

"I think Tony Fernandes feels he has not been given support. I think the government should give him that support," Lim said.

"If MAHB is the stumbling block, then they must facilitate and not block," he added.

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