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RM177b 18-year plan for NCER

July 30, 2007

PM unveils Masterplan for North

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi torday unveiled the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) blueprint, designed to bring Perlis, Kedah, Penang and northern Perak to new levels over the next 18 years or up to end of the 12th Malaysia Plan.

How much will it cost?

About RM177 billion of public and private sector investments expected to flow into the NCER until 2025. Two-thirds of it will come from the privater sector.

Where will the money go to?

Key thrusts: to transform and expand agricultural, manufacturing, tourism and logistics sectors.

What will we get out of it?

Implementation of NCER initiative programmes targets to increase the region's real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 306% from RM52.7 billion in 2005 to RM214.1 billion in 2025.

  • This will increase real GDP per capita from RM8,988 in 2005 to RM24,582 in 2025; and
  • Employment in the region forecast to increase from 2.43 million in 2005 to 4 million in 2025.

Who will benefit?

  • 57,700 households living below the poverty line and 11,900 hardcore poor households; and
  • The region accounts for 17% of Malaysian households living in poverty and 29% of households living in hardcore poverty.

What will be done for them?

Upgrade monthly average household income of RM2,477

  • Improve low educational attainment levels; and
  • Get the young to attend and finish schooling
    PM unveils masterplan for north

ALOR STAR (July 30, 2007): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today launched a masterplan to spur growth and boost income levels in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), which is home to 4.29 million people.

At the launch, he unveiled a slew of projects aimed at transforming and expanding the agricultural, manufacturing, logistics and tourism sectors of the north, covering Perlis, Kedah, Penang and northern Perak.

In Kedah, Abdullah visited the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (Mada), where he launched the Mada estate management programme, reports Malaysia's national news agency Bernama.

Abdullah, accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah, also launched the NCER logo and website (www.ncer.com.my).

He later went to Perlis where he opened the Seed Research and Development Centre, initiated by Sime Darby, the company that developed the NCER masterplan.

Earlier, when launching the NCER, Abdullah presented a copy of the blueprint each to Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, Perlis Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, Perak Mentri Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali and Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.

The launching was done together with the four state leaders who placed their respective state emblem on a white board followed by Abdullah placing the Malaysian emblem.

He will launch the NCER programme in Penang and Perak tomorrow.

FIVE GROWTH CORRIDORS

Five growth corridors will be created within the NCER. They are the island corridor, coastal corridor, central corridor, hinterland corridor and Butterworth-Kulim-Baling-Pengkalan Hulu Grik corridor, according to the NCER blueprint.

Island Corridor

  • Comprising Langkawi and Penang, this corridor will focus on premier tourism activities and distributive services by virtue of their international airports and sea ports;
  • Media services will be promoted, leveraging on their air connectivity to the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle and other parts of the world;
  • Penang retains its education services base and its electric and electronics (E&E) manufacturing activities. The island, together with Seberang Prai remains the primary logistics driver of the NCER; and
  • Port and road improvements, airport expansion and the construction of the Pulau Pinang Second Link will help facilitate improved services to and from the mainland.

Costal Corridor

  • The northernmost tip of the Coastal Corridor is the Padang Besar gateway to southern Thailand. In Kangar, education services are the major activity with links to Arau and Sintok;
  • The towns of Kuala Kedah and Kuala Muda will focus on fisheries, in particular deep-sea fishing and marine food processing activities;
  • Coastal tourism and marine aquaculture activities will feature along the smaller fishing villages and towns.
  • Yan is designated as the petrochemical complex for the NCER. Initial plans are to build a petroleum refinery and storage facilities in the area; and
  • Going south, Butterworth features as the major shipping logistics gateway to the NCER. The Coastal Corridor extends through Nibong Tebal, Simpang Empat and Bagan Serai which are predominantly agriculture-based centres.

Central Corridor

  • The main feature of the corridor is section of the North-South Expressway (NSE) that from Ipoh in the south to Bukit Kayu Hitam in the north;
  • The predominant activity will be the manufacturing corridor from Butterworth/Kulim to Gurun;
  • The E&E sub-sector and automotive assembly remain the major manufacturing activities in this zone;
  • Kamunting is another manufacturing cluster mainly for SME businesses involved in supplying to the large E&E companies or downstream agribusinesses;
  • The corridor is expected to be strengthened with the proposeddouble-tracking rail project and commuter train services, as well as theexpansion and de-bottlenecking of road networks to the ports and airports; and
  • Agriculture will be the major activity to be promoted around the NSE, particularly towards the hinterland.

Under-utilised industrial estates will be converted into specialised agriculture parks for premium products such as the production of ornamental fish, floriculture, certified seed production and food processing clusters.

Hinterland Corridor

  • This starts from Kota Putra and ends in Kuala Kangsar. The predominant activity is agriculture, ranging from commercial crops (rubber and oil palm) to fruit orchards and animal husbandry;
  • This corridor will host the envisaged food production zones in view of its predominant agriculture landscape;
  • A large part of this area is natural forest, which is critical for the NCER freshwater catchment requirements. This area will be preserved and promoted as an eco-tourism attraction;
  • The hinterland corridor hosts a second gateway to southern Thailand, namely Pengkalan Hulu;
  • Tourism activities will also be promoted here, along the highlands and at Pedu Lake. This will be strengthened with the straightening, expansion and building of the Trans-Kedah Hinterland highway; and
  • The expansion of the Grik-Jeli Link is another strategically important milestone for trade expansion with Kelantan and the Eastern Corridor. It is envisaged that the road link will be initially upgraded, followed by the construction of a new rail link once goods and services trafficincreases.

Butterworth-Kulim-Baling-Pengkalan Hulu Grik Corridor

  • This corridor connects the Butterworth logistics hub to the main industrial cluster in Kulim;
  • Major east-west roads along this corridor will be upgraded to improve east-west connectivity;
  • In the longer term, this corridor is expected to play a major role in opening up Kelantan and the Eastern Corridor via the strengthening of the Grik-Jeli road and/or construction of a railway link.

THE HIGH IMPACTS PROJECTS

Perlis

  • Inland container depot
  • Border town development
  • Seeds R&D and Indigenous Bio-Tech centre
  • Coastal road (Kuala Perlis to Simpang Empat, Perak)
  • Climatic fruit cluster

Kedah

  • High end tourism on outer islands of Langkawi and health tourism at Pantai Kok
  • Premier industrial park Kulim
  • Central spine highway
  • Irrigation and flood mitigation
  • Halal hub in Sungai Petani

Penang

  • Airport expansion
  • Port expansion
  • Integrated public transport system
  • Micro-electronic centre of excellence
  • Penang City Centre

Perak

  • Gerik - Jeli highway
  • Expansion of E & E cluster at Taiping
  • Selama as base for modern animal husbandry activities
  • Royal Belum forest as herbal plains for the north for bio-prospecting activities
  • Tourism cluster in Gerik.

 

Source: The Sun Daily