GEORGE TOWN, Malaysia - The Barisan Nasional has joined the Penang government in objecting to a plan for a new international airport in Kedah.
Penang Barisan chief Teng Chang Yeow said it was better to upgrade the Penang International Airport.
"The proposal by the Kedah government lacks facts and figures to justify a new international airport," he said in a statement here yesterday.
Teng, however, disagreed with the Penang government's suggestion that before Kedah proceeds with its airport plan, the international airport in Bayan Lepas be expanded first to have two runways, a fully-integrated air cargo facility and a maintenance, repair and overhaul aerospace hub.
He said by merely asking for these facilities, the Penang government was "handing away" an important infrastructure to another state.
Last week, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir proposed that an international airport be built in Kulim as the gateway to the northern states and southern Thailand, claiming Penang would not have enough space to expand its airport.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng opposed the idea, saying land of between 300 acres and 500 acres can be reclaimed for an expansion south of the airport.
"The Penang International Airport is an important gateway for tourism in the state and the northern region as well as an important cargo hub for industrialisation," said Teng.