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Penang PAS criticises Ramasamy's 'emotional' remarks on Kulim airport

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Penang PAS has criticised P Ramasamy for expressing reservations about the newly approved Kulim International Airport in Kedah, saying that the deputy chief minister's comments were "overemotional and self-exposing".

Iszuree Ibrahim, who is Penang PAS liaison body’s secretary, said Ramasamy's remarks were "clearly emotional in tone" .

"He claims there are attempts to reduce the significance of Penang’s attraction and punish Penang for its success," Iszuree said in a statement yesterday.

"But it is excessive when Ramasamy continues to attribute the federal backing of the project to Malay dominance, and Penang being an 'odd' state in terms of racial composition and achievements in urban development and commercialisation," he added.

"Did he realise he was making an accusation and an admission at the same time?" Iszuree asked.

Iszuree was referring to Ramasamy, who said on May 6 that "there is no logical reason for a new airport in Kulim other than to punish Penang for its success."

Ramasamy also said the present Penang government is not against the proposed new airport, and that it merely wants the federal government to engage in negotiations so that the best-informed decision can be made.

While Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir said the Kulim airport would focus on cargo, Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow feared it would have a "negative impact" on Penang as the new airport would be built only 50km away from the Penang International Airport.

Iszuree said Ramasamy had accused the federal government of "unfair and biased" decisions based on Malay race-based policies, as if to suppress other races.

"At the same time, he is admitting a state-level variance in racial composition which controls the city and its commercial interests," he added.

Iszuree said when Ramasamy "emotionally" questioned the need of Kedah having a third airport in addition to Alor Setar and Langkawi Island, he should realise that the extension of the Penang airport would be subjected to the same logic.

"In fact, the project justifications for all the mega projects planned by DAP's are facing controversy.

"Ramasamy does not need to raise the need for social, traffic and environmental impact assessments for the Kulim airport, when Penang has also failed to undertake the same for its own airport extension," Iszuree said.

"What is worse, the projects in Penang are plagued with corruption scandals entailing investigations which have not been clarified," he alleged.

Penang chief minister Chow stated last month that Zarul Ahmad Zulkifli, the senior executive director of the Penang undersea tunnel concessionaire Consortium Zenith Construction, had been cleared by the MACC.

Iszuree said Ramasamy needs to stop touching on racial sentiments and adding to negative voices.

"Instead, he needs to think of the developmental potential and the needs of the entire Northern Region as well as its future.

"We do not live long but must pass on the best legacy for future generations, " he said. 

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