Monday, July 30

Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER)

Today's an 'awesome' day for many in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia after years of envying mega regional projects in central region (Kuala Lumpur, Cyberjaya, Putrajaya and Sepang) and later southern region (Iskandar Development Region in Johor) -- It's the day for the launching of Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) to cover the states of Perlis, Kedah and Penang and northern region of Perak. After the launching activities in Alor Star and Kangar earlier today, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi will resume launching activities in Butterworth, Penang and Kerian, Perak tomorrow.

Wilayah Utara Malaysia adalah kawasan yang kaya dengan anugerah alam dan tinggi dengan potensi. Jika diberi peluang untuk berkembang dengan lebih giat, kemajuan wilayah ini akan dapat meningkatkan tahap daya saing negara dan memastikan hasilnya dirasai rakyat dengan lebih seimbang. Inilah rasional utama bagi penubuhan Wilayah Ekonomi Koridor Utara.

Pembangunan Koridor Utara juga akan menumpukan perhatian ke atas isu-isu sosial seperti pembangunan desa, modernisasi pertanian dan kemiskinan. Isu-isu ini harus ditangani melalui pendekatan yang lebih berkesan dan mesra-pasaran. Ke arah ini, penggubalan Rangka Tindakan Koridor Utara telah diterajui oleh sektor swasta bagi memastikan bahawa program-program yang dibangunkan berlandas prinsip-prinsip yang mampan dan komersil.

Yang Amat Berhormat
Dato’ Seri Abdullah Bin Haji Ahmad Badawi
Perdana Menteri Malaysia

The North of Malaysia is a region rich in resources and potential. If the region is given opportunity to flourish, the country’s overall competitiveness will be strengthened and prosperity will be better distributed. This is the main rationale for the formation of the Northern Corridor Economic Region.

The development of the Northern Corridor will also focus attention on social issues such as rural development, agriculture modernisation and poverty. These are areas that must be addressed with improved, market-led approaches. To this end, the Northern Corridor Blueprint was spearheaded by private sector input to ensure the development of commercially sustainable measures and programmes.

Yang Amat Berhormat
Dato’ Seri Abdullah Bin Haji Ahmad Badawi
Prime Minister of Malaysia
Of all the details of this mega-plan, I'm most interested in the infrastructure that's coming up to this region.

We won't get additional (small) airports in remote areas like Balik Pulau or towns in Perlis...

But commuter and monorail trains are coming. Though, before folks in Balik Pulau get excited seeing the blue lines seemingly touching Balik Pulau, the line actually stops at Farlim, Air Itam. I had wish the we'd have train lines connecting the island of Penang and Seberang Perai, but we'd instead get a second bridge, one that is to supersede the existing Penang Bridge to be the third longest in Asia, bringing the number of bridges in Malaysia in the top-10 longest bridges in the world to two at number nine and ten respectively. And if only the high-speed trains would continue until Bukit Kayu Hitam and Padang Besar, the northern region would prosper at high pace... but I suppose, the thoughts that more people would go to tourism destinations in Thailand instead would spoil some of the benefits, entirely at our cost (unless if Thailand would share the financial cost and link it up all the way to Bangkok ;-))!

Though, Rapid Penang is going to be launched and start service tomorrow. Still, the routes doesn't seem that enticing for BP-ites as in order to reach Georgetown, they'd still need to go through the long routes using -- passing through the bumpy and dangerous roads of Genting and Teluk Kumbar, and a long trip from south of the island. An alternative public transport method is by taking Rapid Penang to Teluk Bahang, and another bus or two in order to reach destinations in Georgetown. I was imagining that Balik Pulau would be a major settlement area should the train or public bus routes would connect the growing district at the other side of the island to the high-growth areas of Bayan Lepas and Georgetown.

For now, residing in Seberang Prai, which would be a major transportation hub of the NCER seems rather enticing...

I really look forward to cruise the seaside expressway though, to enjoy good seafood in Kuala Perlis or make more ferry trips to Langkawi from Kuala Muda, Kedah. And shouldn't TEKIH connects with the 'Spine' expressway near Baling so we may make more trips to Ulu Legong Hot Water park. Hmm... I wonder what's in or will be of Kota Putra at the northern tip of Kedah.

Read the entire details on NCER (WEKU) blueprints from NCER brochure or read the entire launching speech by Dato Seri Abdullah today (in Malay Language)

Or browse the news clips below, as published on various media sources for a period of two weeks, from 11 JUL until 25 JUL 2007, as a prelude to this launching day:

More related updates from the online press over the past two weeks:
If you're in this affected region, we'd like to hear from you: how will this initiative affect you - your family, your job and/or your business? How will this affect general economy and business environment throughout Malaysia?

1 comment:

  1. Now I remember... it's Tasik Pedu near Kota Putra... it'd be nice to be able to breeze thru the freeway all the way to the nice locations there then...

    (Tuesday's Utusan Malaysia help refreshed the memory) ;)


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