Butterworth AFB (photo : khamaruzaman)
BUTTERWORTH (Bernama) -- Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) Saturday proposed to the federal government to upgrade the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base here and not to relocate it to make way for commercial development project.
Penang State Assembly Opposition Leader Datuk Jahara Hamid said the proposal would be brought to the attention of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and other Penang BN leaders in a meeting scheduled for April 14 in Kuala Lumpur.
"Twenty-five Penang BN leaders will attend the meeting," she told a media conference here.
Jahara said this in response to the Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri's recent remarks in the Dewan Rakyat that the RMAF base in Butterworth would be relocated to a new site in Ara Kuda, about 14 kilometres away from the current location.
The existing 407-hectare base is said to be developed as a commercial centre and that TSR Capital Bhd had received the approval, in principle, from the federal government to negotiate the terms for relocation and construction of the new RMAF base in Penang through land swap.
Meanwhile, Jahara also proposed to the federal government to relocate the Malaysian Defence and Security Technology Park from its proposed site in Sungkai, Perak, to Butterworth.
She said this could reduce the overall cost as the infrastructure, such as aircraft runways, were already in place.