Sendayan air base brings about transformation in three aspects: Najib (Updated)

SEREMBAN: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today opened the Sendayan Air Base here and said its development had brought about transformation in three aspects.

He said the first aspect of the transformation was turning an oil palm plantation into the Sendayan satellite township of Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley.

The second aspect was the modern amenities and comfort enjoyed by the Royal Malaysian Air Force personnel, and the third was the development of the Kuala Lumpur Air Base as Bandar Malaysia, he added.

Najib said Sendayan, once the site of a Felda oil palm plantation, had taken on a new look as Bandar Baru Sendayan.

"It will become a satellite township of Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley and the inhabitants here will enjoy a quality of life better than that in the city centre," he said at the event.

Najib said the demand to become owners and tenants of property in Bandar Baru Sendayan would surge.

"I congratulate the (Negri Sembilan) Mentri Besar (Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan) for having planned a high-potential development," he said.

Besides Mohamad, the others who attended the event included Defence Minister and Minister of Special Functions Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein; Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin; Chief of Defence Forces Gen Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor and Chief of Air Force Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang.

Addressing about 4,000 people at the parade ground, Najib said the Kuala Lumpur Air Base would be remembered as the air base that was witness to a host of historical events such as the take-off point for national leaders seeking independence and operations to address the communist terrorist threat.

"But with the passing of time, Kuala Lumpur, having developed with its skyscrapers, has become no longer suitable to host an air base due to priority for flight safety. The transfer of the Kuala Lumpur Air Base to Sendayan is not just a physical move but a move to a sophisticated, modern and comfortable air base.

"Comfortable in the sense that the housing units are bigger, of better quality and the furniture is new. I was informed that the early movers get a television, refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioners and so on. This is extraordinary," he said.

Najib said the cost of developing the RMAF base was RM808 million, excluding the cost of the land, and the Negri Sembilan state government had contributed RM250 million.

He said the Sendayan Air Base development did not remain a promise but had been fulfilled by the government which brought transformation to the RMAF and Armed Forces personnel.

He also said that the government was able to use the Kuala Lumpur Air Base to develop Bandar Malaysia on 500 acres as the most iconic development for the country.

"The terminal for the High-Speed Rail from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore will become a reality in a few years. Development with a most modern lifestyle, InsyaAllah (God willing) will become a reality. Even at this time, two MRT stations are being built and will be completed soon," he said.

"Just imagine, in the city centre, the development on 500 acres will become the pride of all Malaysians.

"I am saying this because this is a contribution of 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) to our country that had been the subject of many allegations," he said.

Najib said 1MDB had spent RM2.7 billion to transfer the RMAF assets to eight new bases.

"Let's not pay heed to what is said by certain quarters which want to play up stories so that the people hate the government and forget the good that's done. One can criticise but the good must also be mentioned. This is the good that I want to mention," he said.

The Prime Minister said that without such plans, there would be no Sendayan Air Base. The country's revenue was limited if one was to depend on the consolidated funds, he added.

"We have to be more creative. If the asset is in the city centre and if we use the asset to derive returns for our country, it will take time. Before developing Bandar Malaysia, we have to develop the new camps such as that in Sendayan," he said.

Najib also said that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would open two new camps in Subang, Selangor, that cost RM800 million to develop with funding from 1MDB.

The Prime Minister said the three aspects of transformation were most meaningful to the country.

"Insya-Allah (God willing), if given the mandate, we will see a bigger transformation take shape in our country," he added. — Bernama