Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali has announced seven mega projects to be developed in Kedah, one of them being Kulim International Airport (KXP).
Although the people, especially Penangites, are sceptical about the plan, Azmin ensures them that Kulim is sorely in need of an international airport as it would attract investors and fulfil industry demands, since Penang International Airport had reached its maximum capacity.
The project will be funded by private sectors, costing up to RM1.6 billion. It is expected to be completed within a three-year period, with the improvement of current capacity from 6.5 million to 12 million passengers annually.
The other projects are the RM300 million Sidam Manufacturing Industry and Logistics Hub, the RM15 million Alor Setar Digital library, and the RM2 million Gurun Petrochemical Industrial Park.
One of the projects that receives positive feedback is Kasih Ibu Darul Aman (KIDA) programme. The annual allocation of RM30 million for the project will be able to assist 5,482 poor families in the state.
Women and mothers of these families will be issued a smart card with RM400 to RM500 value to buy basic necessities with the ease of just swiping the card.
Additionally, two phases of the Northern Corridor highway project over a 70-km stretch will also be developed. The first phase is the stretch from Bandar Baharu (Kulim) to Sungai Petani and the second phase is from Bandar Baharu to the Sultan Abdul Halim Bridge in Penang.
An estimation of RM1.7 billion is allocated for the project. Overall, the cost for the seven mega projects is estimated to be over RM3 billion.
Azmin is optimistic that the infrastructure built in these projects will draw foreign investors, create more job opportunities for the locals, and raise their income.
The announcement of the project was made by Azmin at a press conference held on March 19, after a special meeting with the federal and Kedah state government officers and staff.