ECK Group did not make any payments over the Kulim airport that it was to develop as part of a joint venture with the Kedah state government, but it has already made “a windfall”, Mukhriz Mahathir revealed today.
The former Kedah menteri besar said the state government had informed him that ECK had been expected to spend RM6 billion in the first phase of the development, including RM2 billion for land acquisition.
He said that on the same day the joint venture agreement was signed, ECK had entered into a deal with a real estate company to develop a housing area on part of the land acquired for the project.
“The Kedah government informed me in an official letter that ECK did not make any payments to state-owned KXP AirportCity Holdings Sdn Bhd,” the Pejuang president said in a statement today.
The joint venture agreement, signed last August to build the Kulim International Airport by 2026, stated that ECK would own 80% equity in the project while the state government would own the rest through KXP AirportCity.
Mukhriz said the land had been gazetted under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act 1960, meaning no other transactions could be agreed upon for the area.
However, as this could only be enforced for two years, he said the RM2 billion for land acquisition had to be paid urgently.
“My concern is that while the Kedah government and KXP AirportCity have yet to receive a single sen, ECK has already made a windfall by offering a housing project to Ivory Properties,” Mukhriz said.
He then urged Kedah menteri besar Sanusi Md Nor to come forward and be transparent on the issue.
The proposed airport is part of the Kedah Aerotropolis project designed to drive the state’s economic transformation. The project, on an area of 3,965 hectares, involves the construction of the airport as well as facilities for supporting industries, including an industrial park in Sidam for a logistics, aerospace and manufacturing hub.
In January, Sanusi said he foresaw “no more obstacles” in the development of the airport, adding that all matters relating to the project, including finance, land acquisition and technical requirements, had also been completed or were being managed well.
FMT has contacted ECK for comment. – FMT