GEORGE TOWN: Kedah will receive nearly RM5 billion in high impact infrastructure projects and development from the federal government, the economic affairs ministry announced today.
The projects approved include the Kulim International Airport development valued at RM1.6 billion, Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said in a statement.
The Kulim airport would be built using the private finance initiative, Azmin later told FMT.
Other major projects slated for Kedah are a highway from Bandar Baharu to Sungai Petani and another from Bandar Baharu to the Penang second bridge at a cost of RM1.7 billion in two phases.
The projects are related to the Mid-Term Review of the 11th Malaysia Plan and are aimed at bridging the development gap between states.
The other projects approved for Kedah are the Sidam Manufacturing Industry and Logistics Hub valued at RM300 million, the Alor Setar Digital library (RM15 million) and the Gurun Petrochemical Industrial Park worth RM2 million.
In addition, Azmin said a yearly RM30 million allocation for the “Kasih Ibu Darul Aman” programme had been approved to help 5,482 poor families with their basic needs. He said the programme was targeted at the poor, especially those in Baling, Sik, Yan and Kota Setar districts.
The total allocation for all these projects comes to RM4.78 billion.
In the statement, Azmin said this was to ensure that the state was not left out from the “mainstream” of economic growth in the country and to reduce development gaps between the states.
“One of the salient points of the 11th Malaysia Plan is to reduce the gap between regions. This policy is developed to help Sarawak, Sabah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis so that they are not left out in the mainstream economic growth.”
He said the policy was developed in the spirit of inclusivity under a concept of shared prosperity.
Azmin had earlier met Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir and senior state officials to discuss development in the state related to the Mid-Term Review of the 11th Malaysia Plan.