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Proposed 24-hour border operating hours to boost Padang Besar's development

Proposed 24-hour border operating hours to boost Padang Besar's development
Azlan says the physical facilities at the Padang Besar customs, immigration and quarantine complex needed to be upgraded first. --fotoBERNAMA
KANGAR: The proposed 24-hour operating hours at the border entry points will help boost the development of Padang Besar, which is gazetted as the Border Town of Commerce, said Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azlan Man.

In expressing support for the proposal, he said many matters needed to be considered by the government, among others, manpower and security aspect.

"In terms of socio-economy, the extention of opening hours gives a big impact on the planning to turn Padang Besar as a well-known logistic hub," he told reporters on the sidelines of the State Legislative Assembly sitting here today.

Padang Besar is gazetted as the Border Town of Commerce under the Perlis State Structure Plan 2030.

Earlier when replying to a question from Datuk Ismail Kasim (BN-Tambung Tulang), Azlan said the physical facilities at the Padang Besar customs, immigration and quarantine complex needed to be upgraded first.
Last year 7,000 people per month visited Padang Besar from 4,000 monthly in 2015 when the double track railway via the electric train service (ETS) was completed.

Meanwhile Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Committee chairman Ahmad Bakri Ali said the state government could only control the price and quality of the harumanis mango to maintain its uniqueness as the icon of Perlis.

Even though the ceiling price is fixed at RM26 per kg, he said traders could still sell them at higher prices depending on the quality of the fruits.

He was replying to a question from Khaw Hock Kong (BN-Titi Tinggi) who wanted to know the measures taken by the Agriculture Department in taking care of the fruits.

The state government through the department had set the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the packaging of harumanis to meet the standards in terms of texture content, maturity and sweetness level, he added.

Meanwhile Datuk Ismail Kasim (BN-Tambun Tulang) said the Perlis government should review the agreements and memorandum of understanding that were signed with neigbouring Thailand.

"Among the agreements no longer relevant is that relating to the communist threat which should be replaced and Kesban (security and development) roads built by Malaysia," he said when debating on the motion on the Supplementary Supply (2016) Enactment Bill 2017.

He said the ease in entering the borders of both countries for a distance of two kilometres without insurance coverage should also be studied to avoid any untoward incidents.

Another government backbencher, Khaw Hock Kong (BN-Titi Tinggi), who supported the call by Ismail, wanted the government to study in detail the benefits from the 24-hour operating hours at the border entry points.

He said the government should give priority to increase facilities in Padang Besar to stop the outflow of the Ringgit by having more local products, entertainment outlets and accommodation there. -- Bernama