KOTA BARU – The Government has approved a sum of RM450mil to upgrade and expand the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport as a regional hub for tourists.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the upgrades would include extending the 2,400m runway to 2,500m to enable bigger aircraft to land.
â€œApart from that, the Government will expand the size of the passenger terminal that caters to 1.5 million passengers now to serve four million passengers and construction is expected to be completed within three years.
â€œThis is proof that the Government is fair to the people of Kelantan although PAS has ruled the state for the last 25 years,â€ Liow told reporters after meeting state MCA leaders here yesterday.
Also present were Kelantan MCA chairman Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung, Kota Baru MCA chief Tan Ken Ten and MCA central committee member Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker.
Liow, who is also MCA president, said the Government was in the midst of appointing a consultant for the project.
In an unrelated matter, Liow said Malaysian experts would be going to Australia to inspect a piece of debris, believed to be from MH370, that was discovered by a South African teenager in Mozambique.
He said the debris would be sent to Australia to enable the seven accredited countries to carry out thorough inspections.
Liam Lotter, 18, told ABC News that he found the debris with his cousin Calvin while strolling on a beach between Gunjata Bay and Paindane Reed in Mozambique last December.
Liow said the find, if proven to be true, would provide more clues on the whereabouts of Flight MH370.
On another matter, Liow said it was outdated for the Kelantan government to try to implement punitive punishment by flogging adulterers and boozers found guilty under the Syariah Criminal Code or Hudud, in public.
He said having another set of laws would create confusion among the public.
â€œMCA is not trying to interfere with Syariah laws but there are concerns about the overlapping of laws with the present Criminal Procedure Code and the injustices which may arise.
This is not what MCA wants but we will defend the rights of the non-Muslims to the end should they innocently get entangled in the mess of having two separate laws in the state,â€ he added. – The Star Online