BUTTERWORTH: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is peeved over the absence of consultation by the Perak government over a low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) project and Transport Minister Datuk Seri 's comment on it.
Lim said the Penang government did not oppose the Utara Malaysia Airport Terminal (UMAT) in northern Perak but it was troubling Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir had failed to consult with the Penang government.
He said Kong, meanwhile, was more interested in updating information on the WWW number plate bids than addressing the issue of the terminal and Penang's free port status.
"He should be known as the 'Minister for Number Plates' as he seems to be more focused on the bidding price for the WWW car registration numbers," he said.
"At a time when Penangites are concerned about the impact of the Penang international airport following Zambry's announcement, Kong had nothing to contribute."
Last week, a news daily quoted Zambry as urging federal and neighbouring state governments, particularly Penang, to favourably view the proposed terminal as complementing instead of competing against their airports.
"Clearly, the federal government is proceeding unilaterally with the building of UMAT without taking into account the cost, economic viability of the project in view of its distance to Penang airport and the KLIA as well as any possible negative impact on existing airports in Penang and Kedah," said Lim.
He told reporters after opening the Pakatan Rakyat Wanita Convention, the terminal should be built on the condition that fairness was exercised by the federal government by constructing LCCTs in Penang and Kedah.
Lim said refusal to build LCCTs in these states showed the federal government was motivated by partisan political consideration rather than commercial necessity.
"In an era of budget air travel, LCCT is a necessity.
The BN government should learn its lesson from allowing MAS (Malaysia Airlines) to be motivated by political considerations (in the past) which resulted in huge billion-ringgit losses," he said.