Tuesday, 12 June 2018

(The Star) MAHB: No changes to KL Aeropolis and DFTZ projects for the present

KUALA LUMPUR: There will be no changes to the KLIA Aeropolis and Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) development for now and will proceed as per the original schedule, Bernama reported quoting Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

In the report, managing director Datuk Mohd Badlisham Ghazali said there were no orders or announcement from the new government regarding any changes for both projects or the possibility of being scrapped so far.

“I briefed the Transport Minister last week (on the DFTZ) and stated that it was an agreement between two private companies, namely, Alibaba and MAHB, with government involvement being minimal.

“The minister has been receiving his updates on the industry and is aware about the project. There does not seem to be any objection (on the project). But, he wants to study and get more details before letting us (MAHB) know (of any changes),” he told reporters after meeting with the Council of Eminent Persons yesterday.

Aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, the DFTZ was launched in November last year and is set to be the regional logistics hub. It is scheduled to begin operations in 2020.

Malaysia was chosen to host the DFTZ due to its position as an important hub in the Maritime Silk Road as well as the country’s aggressive push to develop a digital economy.

Meanwhile, on the KLIA Aeropolis, Badlisham said its development is still ongoing with a number of commitments having been made. “We have made commitments for either an outlet park, malls, logistical warehouse, or other things being done for Subang Airport to attract more investors there.

“This will continue as usual because we know what the market wants. We already have customers for what has been planned and hopefully, will be signing more agreements when we go to the Farnborough International Airshow in July,” he added in the report.

KLIA Aeropolis, the air logistics hub which has been incorporated into the DFTZ, will be built on 404.7ha surrounding the KL International Airport and was launched in 2016. It is expected to attract RM7bil in foreign and domestic investments.

On the meeting with the council, Badlisham said discussions were more focused on how MAHB could increase passenger traffic.

Meanwhile, an online news portal quoting Badlisham said that Pulau Tioman does not have space to accommodate a new and larger airport.

“The government has looked at it many times. The problem with Tioman is finding a suitable spot to build a larger airport.

“The only way is to extend into the sea, which involves reclamation. This will require an EIA (environmental impact assessment). We won’t get approval,” he said when asked on Berjaya Group executive chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan’s announcement last week that the group would submit a proposal to the government to build an airport in Pulau Tioman to boost tourism. — Bernama