The Seberang Perai Municipal Council is in the dark over a reported plan to relocate the RMAF base in Butterworth.
MPSP president Maimunah Mohd Sharif said the council has not received any word about the proposal. “What I know (about the project) is what I have read in the media.”
She was answering a question from a woman from the floor who urged the Council president not to give in to any plan to relocate the base. “It is five minutes to midnight,” said the woman, referring to the urgency of the situation in view of the impending relocation.
The question cropped up during a question and answer session at the Seberang Perai Story forum held at the MPSP office in Bandar Perda on 15 November.
Some Butterworth residents fear the existing RMAF site will fall under more high-end sea-front property development, pushing property prices up around the Butterworth end of the proposed Gurney Drive-Bagan Ajam tunnel. (All the same, some doubts have surfaced in recent weeks about the fate of the controversial tunnel following the failure of the company tasked with undertaking the tunnel feasibility study to proceed with the work.)
On 5 February 2014, TSR Capital Bhd announced that it had sent a proposal to the federal government for the proposed relocation and reconstruction of a new RMAF air force base via a land swap deal.
Of course, the RMAF base comes under the federal Defence Ministry, and it will be a test of the MPSP’s powers if plans for the development of the site and the relocation of the base eventually make their way to the Council.