The state’s federal government department chairperson Zainal Abidin Osman has gone on to announce a range of fresh socio-economic projects to help boost the quality of living in Penang

GEORGE TOWN: The Federal government has dismissed claims that it had neglected Penang, despite the state being ruled by the Opposition pact, Pakatan Harapan.

The state’s federal government department chairperson Zainal Abidin Osman has gone on to announce a range of fresh socio-economic projects to help boost the quality of living in Penang.

Zainal Abidin said in a press conference that the federal side is now busy planning and constructing 12 projects in Penang.

It ranges from infrastructure, public healthcare, education to affordable housing.

Although he did not outline the 12 projects, the key one this year is the proposed expansion of the Penang International Airport which has exceeded its maximum capacity handling of 6.5 million passengers per annum.

According to statistics made available by the Malaysian Airports Berhad, passenger arrivals at the airport reached some 7.2 million last year.

The first area which will be expanded is the car park section, Zainal Abidin said, adding that construction for a 7- storey high building was underway.

Around 2,000 car bays would be created from the building.

As for the main terminal, he said that the expansion of it was in the conceptual stage and construction may only take place next year.

It was learnt that there would be an additional terminal either to house the departure or arrival lounge while there would be new check-in counters to facilitate the anticipated entry of new airliners into Penang.

The expansion works will take 3 to 4 years, Zainal Abidin said.

On the healthcare aspect, Zainal Abidin also said that there will be another public hospital built  in Seberang Jaya at a costs of RM498 million

Also, the Penang Hospital was poised for another round of expansion; there will be a hospital for women and a pediatric division here.

It all represents the commitment from the federal side to help Penang it is quest to boost growth and to meet the expectations of the public, he noted.

Affordable housing is another area which the federal side would try to commit with the intention to establish more PR1MA affordable housing schemes.

On claims from PKR of moving voters subtly into the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency, Zainal Abidin laughed it off, saying that it showed that PKR was showing signs of desperation with the general election near.

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