KOTA BHARU – The federal government is going to focus more on developing Kelantan, so it is not left behind when Malaysia achieves the status of a high-income developed nation by 2020, said International Trade and Industry minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
He said Kelantan was still far behind in terms of development compared to the other states, including in terms of infrastructure such as highways, airports and water facilities.
“We do not want Kelantan to be left out, because currently it is still lagging behind, there’s a lot that needs to be done. It’s a big challenge for Kelantan to catch up with the other states in achieving a developed nation status.
“We hope the state government (led by PAS) plays its role in taking care of Kelantan citizens, and do not fully rely on (assistance from) the federal government,” he told reporters after attending a dinner in conjunction with the Kelatan state-level 2015 Teachers’ Day celebration here, last night.
Mustapa, who is also Kelantan Umno liaison chief, said three major projects to be implemented in Kelantan announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when tabling the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) recently, will be the catalyst for development in the state.
The three projects were the construction of the Kota Baharu-Kuala Krai highway, expansion of the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Pengkalan Chepa here, and integrated flood mitigation projects along Sungai Kelantan through the construction of dams at Sungai Nenggiri and Sungai Lebir.
Regarding the People’s Highway construction project led by the state government, Mustapa said there was talk of the possibility of the state government handing over the project to the federal government, as it was allegedly facing many problems.
The state government had officially launched the project to build the 30.5-kilometre highway from Bukit Bakar, Machang, to Dusun Damar, Kuala Krai in August, last year.
The project costing RM854 million, was expected to be completed within three to four years.
Meanwhile, on the rise in the retail prices of RON95 and RON97 petrol as well as diesel for June 2015 by 10sen per litre, Mustapa said the government had decided to float the oil price according to market price movements, and the majority of people had begun accepting the method.
“If we continue to subsidise like before, it will not be sustainable, as we will have to spend big money for subsidies and if we continue with it, it will affect the allocation for other sectors, such as education and health,” he said.
Mustapa also wanted the relevant ministries to take action against traders who raised prices indiscriminately to reap excessive profits due to the rise in oil prices. – BERNAMA