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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NCER hub issue sets off debate at House

The claim that Penang stands to gain positively as the logistics and transportation hub for the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) sparked off a lively debate between Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and Phee Boon Poh (DAP – Sungai Puyu).

Dr Koh said many massive infrastructure projects were being undertaken in the state after Penang was designated as the logistics and transportation hub for NCER.

The projects, he said, were either in their implementation or planning stages.

The projects singled out were the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT), the expansion of Penang International Airport, Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR), the second Penang bridge, Penang Monorail, Penang-Butterworth Fast Ferry Service, Penang Central Integrated Transport Hub, Butterworth and International Cruise Centre in Swettenham Pier.

To this, Phee questioned the sincerity of the state government in pushing Penang as the transportation and logistics hub.

“We have heard of Penang being designated as the transportation and logistics hub under the policies of Penang Strategic Development Plan in 1995 and the IMT-GT (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand Growth Triangle) in 1990.

“And now Penang is again named as such for the NCER. Can you please tell us the difference between the three?” he asked.

Phee said it only goes to show that the state government did not draw up any concrete plan for the state's development.

By The Star

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