File picture by ZUNNUR AL SHAFIQ.

LANGKAWI: The government is in the midst of renegotiating the operating agreement with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) to include the private sector’s participation in airport expansion projects in the country.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook today said that the private sector’s involvement could provide the solution to the issue of getting funds for airport expansion projects without giving an additional burden to the government.

“We are looking at a new model of how to extend the airports, because under the present operating agreement, airport expansion is termed as development expenditure of the government,” he told reporters after opening the Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific Small and Emerging Airports Seminar 2018 here.

In getting this collaboration to succeed, he said, the government would need to ensure that private sector players get positive returns from their investments while the country’s coffers are not affected.

“We hope that it will be a win-win situation. A win for the government in the sense that it lightens the burden of committing to development expenditures and a win for the private sector in the sense that they will bring positive returns,” he added.

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