KUALA KEDAH: Transport minister Loke Siew Fook has announced three transportation projects in Kedah, including upgrade works on the Kuala Kedah passenger jetty and terminal.
However, Loke maintained that these projects have nothing to do with the state election in Kedah, which is among six states expected to hold their elections in July.
The other two projects are the procurement of 12 three-coach sets for the northern KTM commuter service, and the installation of lifts at two railway stations in Kobah and Kodiang.
Loke said the jetty upgrade project was proposed in 2019 and was meant to start in 2020. However, it was delayed due to various circumstances after the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
The project had to be retendered last year, he said.
“We are merely carrying out our responsibility as the government. It has nothing to do with the state election.
“We are committed to carrying out our work whether there is an election or not,” he told reporters at the terminal here in a joint press conference with home minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
“I was disappointed that the project could not be done since it was proposed in 2019. Now I want to ensure that it commences as soon as possible and is completed by 2026.”
Loke said the project would increase passenger capacity to 3,000, compared to the current 800. It also involves the construction of a four-storey parking complex, entrance bridges, road upgrades and landscaping works.
The present jetty will be torn down and a temporary jetty will be built next to the site.
As for the KTM project, Loke said the addition of coaches for the two main routes in the northern region – Butterworth-Padang Besar and Butterworth-Padang Rengas – is necessary because of increased ridership with 12,000 people using these routes daily.
The new coaches would benefit people in Perlis and Kedah who commute daily to Penang for work, he said.
The tender for this project will be advertised on June 30 and the procurement of the coaches is expected to be completed in three years.