Muhammad Sanusi: Aerotropolis To Transform And Bring The State Forward—The Greater Kedah

ByMohd Azad Jasmi

I am intrigued to write about the state of Kedah. It is one of the states within Malaysia. Lately, Kedah has been making frequent headlines, garnering attention on social media platforms due to the vocal and popular leadership of its Chief Minister. Despite receiving a mix of positive and negative comments, he chooses to ignore the negativity and remains steadfast in his vision to uplift the state.

Having had the privilege of interviewing him on multiple occasions, he emphasized that his actions are not driven by populism. His primary goal is to deliver the best outcomes for the people of Kedah, regardless of their political affiliations or ideologies. As the Chief Minister of Kedah, his commitment lies in serving the state and its residents, without favoring any particular political party.

It is heartening to witness his mature and inclusive approach towards everyone. He expressed his dedication to ensuring the welfare of the people during his relatively short tenure of less than five years as the state’s leader. This commitment reinforces my admiration for his leadership and the assurance that he strives to bring about positive change for the people (rakyat) of Kedah.

The ambitious and forward-looking Chief Minister

Muhammad Sanusi | Utusan Malaysia

In the dynamic landscape of Malaysian politics and development, YAB Muhammad Sanusi stands out as an ambitious and forward-looking Chief Minister of Kedah. With his visionary leadership, he is spearheading the transformation of Kedah into “The Greater Kedah,” an ambitious development plan that aims to unlock the state’s full potential and propel it into a new era of growth and prosperity. In this article, we will explore the remarkable initiatives and bold strategies implemented by YAB Muhammad Sanusi to develop “The Greater Kedah” and shape the state’s future.

His ambitious vision for “The Greater Kedah” aligns perfectly with the development of the Kedah Aerotropolis. The Kedah Aerotropolis project is a key component of his broader plan to unlock the full potential of Kedah and position it as a thriving economic hub in the region. Here’s how the ambition of “The Greater Kedah” and the Kedah Aerotropolis project complement each other:

  1. Economic Transformation. Both “The Greater Kedah” and the Kedah Aerotropolis project aim to drive economic transformation in the state. “The Greater Kedah” focuses on diversifying the economy, attracting investment, and promoting high-value industries. The Kedah Aerotropolis, with its strategic location near the airport, facilitates trade, logistics, and connectivity, attracting businesses, investors, and tourists to Kedah. Together, they create a conducive environment for economic growth and job creation.
  2. Infrastructure Development. The Kedah Aerotropolis project involves the development of world-class infrastructure, including an integrated airport, logistics and industrial zones, commercial areas, and transportation networks. This infrastructure development aligns with the broader infrastructure initiatives of “The Greater Kedah” plan, which seeks to enhance connectivity, modernize transportation networks, and create smart cities. The synergy between these initiatives strengthens Kedah’s infrastructure backbone and supports its economic aspirations.
  3. Tourism and Trade. The Kedah Aerotropolis, with its enhanced air connectivity and logistics facilities, becomes a gateway for tourism and trade. It facilitates the smooth movement of goods, services, and tourists, attracting both domestic and international visitors. This aligns with “The Greater Kedah” vision of promoting tourism, preserving cultural heritage, and positioning Kedah as a premier tourist destination. The Kedah Aerotropolis acts as a catalyst for tourism growth, attracting more visitors to explore the diverse offerings of Kedah.
  4. Investment and Job Opportunities. The development of “The Greater Kedah” and the Kedah Aerotropolis opens up new investment opportunities and job prospects for the local population. The integrated approach of “The Greater Kedah” in attracting investments across various sectors, combined with the Kedah Aerotropolis’ infrastructure and connectivity advantages, creates a favorable environment for businesses to establish their presence in Kedah. This, in turn, leads to job creation, skills development, and economic empowerment for the people of Kedah.
  5. Sustainable Development. His vision for “The Greater Kedah” emphasizes sustainable development, and the Kedah Aerotropolis project aligns with this objective. The project incorporates environmental considerations, including green spaces, eco-friendly practices, and efficient resource management. By implementing sustainable measures in the development and operations of the Kedah Aerotropolis, it becomes a model for responsible growth and contributes to the overall sustainability goals of “The Greater Kedah.”

Aerotropolis: Putting the people first

Image | Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) Malaysia

The Kedah Aerotropolis project offers numerous benefits to both Malaysia as a whole and the Kedahans. Here are some key advantages:

  1. Economic Growth and Job Creation. The development of the Kedah Aerotropolis has the potential to spur significant economic growth in the region. The project will attract domestic and foreign investments, leading to the establishment of new businesses and industries. This, in turn, will generate employment opportunities for the local population, reducing unemployment rates and enhancing the overall economic well-being of Kedah citizens.
  2. Enhanced Connectivity and Trade Opportunities. The Aerotropolis aims to improve regional and global connectivity through the expansion and modernization of Sultan Abdul Halim Airport. With increased flight frequencies, larger aircraft capacity, and improved infrastructure, the airport will facilitate more direct international flights and cargo operations. This will open up new trade opportunities, attract foreign businesses, and boost Kedah’s participation in global supply chains.
  3. Tourism and Hospitality Development. The growth of the Kedah Aerotropolis will have a positive impact on the tourism and hospitality sectors. With improved airport facilities and increased flight connectivity, Kedah can attract more tourists and business travelers. This will lead to the development of hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other tourism-related businesses, creating a vibrant tourism ecosystem and generating revenue for the local economy.
  4. Skills Development and Knowledge Transfer. The project’s development and operations will create a demand for skilled professionals in various sectors such as aviation, logistics, manufacturing, and services. This presents an opportunity for the citizens of Kedah to upskill and acquire specialized knowledge, leading to better employment prospects. The project can also facilitate knowledge transfer through collaboration with international companies and institutions, enabling the transfer of expertise and technology to local talents.
  5. Sustainable Development and Improved Quality of Life. The Kedah Aerotropolis project places emphasis on sustainability and smart city initiatives. This includes the adoption of environmentally friendly practices, energy-efficient infrastructure, and the integration of smart technologies. These efforts will contribute to a cleaner environment, reduced carbon footprint, and enhanced quality of life for the citizens of Kedah. Additionally, the project’s focus on creating green spaces, recreational areas, and amenities will improve the livability and well-being of the local community.
  6. Regional Development and Investment Attraction. The Kedah Aerotropolis has the potential to attract regional development and investment. With its strategic location in northern Malaysia and proximity to neighboring countries, Kedah can serve as a gateway for regional trade and investment. This can lead to the establishment of regional headquarters, research and development centers, and innovation clusters, creating a positive ripple effect in terms of economic growth, employment opportunities, and infrastructure development.

The benefits of TVET in the context of Aerotropolis

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) plays a crucial role in driving the success of ambitious development projects such as the Kedah Aerotropolis. TVET education equips individuals with practical skills and knowledge that are directly applicable to the specific industries and sectors involved in the Aerotropolis project. In this article, we will explore the benefits of TVET education and how it can contribute to the success and sustainability of the Kedah Aerotropolis.

  1. Industry-Relevant Skills. TVET education focuses on providing students with practical skills and hands-on training that are directly relevant to the needs of industries. In the context of the Kedah Aerotropolis, TVET programs can be tailored to equip students with skills in aviation, logistics, engineering, hospitality, and other sectors related to the Aerotropolis project. This ensures a skilled workforce that is ready to meet the demands of the industries operating within the development.
  2. Job Opportunities. The emphasis on industry-relevant skills in TVET education opens up numerous job opportunities for graduates. As the Kedah Aerotropolis project develops, there will be a growing demand for skilled professionals in various fields. TVET graduates will have a competitive edge in securing employment within the Aerotropolis, whether it be in airport operations, logistics management, maintenance and engineering, or hospitality services. This creates a pathway for local talent to access meaningful and well-paying careers.
  3. Collaboration with Industry. TVET institutions can foster strong partnerships and collaborations with industries involved in the Kedah Aerotropolis. This collaboration ensures that the curriculum remains up to date with industry trends and requirements, creating a seamless transition for students from education to employment. Industry involvement in TVET programs can also provide opportunities for internships, apprenticeships, and work-based learning, enabling students to gain practical experience and industry exposure.
  4. Local Workforce Development. By focusing on TVET education, the Kedah Aerotropolis project can contribute to the development of a skilled local workforce. This reduces reliance on foreign labor and creates employment opportunities for the local community. TVET institutions can work closely with local communities, schools, and organizations to identify and nurture talent, providing accessible pathways for individuals to develop the skills needed to participate in the Aerotropolis project and its associated industries.
  5. Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development. TVET education can also foster entrepreneurship and small business development. By equipping students with practical skills and entrepreneurial knowledge, TVET programs can inspire and empower individuals to start their own businesses within the Aerotropolis ecosystem. This can lead to the growth of local enterprises, job creation, and the diversification of the business landscape, contributing to the overall economic development of Kedah.

TVET education plays a vital role in supporting the success and sustainability of the Kedah Aerotropolis. By providing industry-relevant skills, creating job opportunities, fostering collaborations with industries, developing the local workforce, and promoting entrepreneurship, TVET education ensures that the development of the Aerotropolis benefits the local community and creates a skilled workforce ready to thrive in the industries associated with the project.

The integration of TVET programs within the development plan of the Kedah Aerotropolis will lead to a win-win situation, where the project’s growth is supported by a capable and skilled workforce, while individuals and the local community benefit from increased job prospects and economic opportunities.

The Kedah Aerotropolis project offers a multitude of benefits to Malaysia and the citizens of Kedah. From economic growth and job creation to enhanced connectivity, tourism development, skills enhancement, and sustainable living, the project has the potential to transform Kedah into a vibrant and prosperous region, driving progress and improving the quality of life for its citizens.

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