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DAP wants Penang’s free port status restored before GE

 | May 12, 2012

If Penang's free port status is restored it will be a major boost to the island's economy

GEORGE TOWN: DAP wants Penang’s free port status (FPS) restored before the next general election.

Its national chairman Karpal Singh said the restoration of FPS would be a major boost  to the state’s socio-economic growth, especially for the tourism sector.

The senior parliamentarian said the removal of Penang FPS in 1969 and giving it to Langkawi was never in the nation’s best interests.

“The DAP has always called on for the status to be restored.

“Traditionally Penang has been a free port until the status was removed in 1969,” said Karpal, the Bukit Gelugor MP.

State Barisan Nasional chairman Teng Chang Yeow has made the proposal to restore Penang’s lost FPS to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Tourism Malaysia chairman Dr Victor Wee Eng Lye.

Restoring FPS for Penang is part of a move to improve the tourism attraction and lure  investors to Penang and Langkawi, boosting both islands’ positions as world-class tourist destinations.

The FPS is anticipated to attract international hotels and holiday resorts, increase the length of stay of local and foreign tourists and boost tourism .

Historically, Penang was a FPS since the colonial days until the status was revoked.

Despite the setback of losing its free port status, Penang, under the leadership of then chief minister, the late Dr Lim Chong Eu transformed into a major regional industrial base.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has said that his administration would welcome any proposal to restore Penang’s FPS  for the sake of Penangites.

“Please don’t politicise the issue and make it a reality.

“We don’t mind which government manages to get this done as long as it’s reinstated and this should be done before the general election,” he said.


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