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Wednesday July 16, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday July 16, 2014 MYT 8:02:27 AM
by r.s.n. murali
MALACCA: A masterplan will be unveiled soon to turn Malacca Zoo into a river safari and wildlife park.
The zoo, which privatised early last year, is managed under a consortium led by KAJ Development Sdn Bhd, which is the major shareholder.
KAJ Development CEO Datuk Michelle Ong said the same architect that helped create Singapore’s award-winning river safari park would be commissioned to transform the Malacca zoo into a world-class wildlife park.
“We have received the blessings and endorsement from Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, and are now awaiting approval from the local authorities before work can commence, probably before the end of the year,” she said when interviewed here on Monday.
Ong was responding to a letter published in The Star on the same day, where a Malaccan bemoaned the poor condition of the zoo.
She said the zoo was undergoing a facelift, and it would take time before work was completed.
“We are constantly upgrading and hope that the approval to turn the zoo into a river safari is expedited,” said Ong, who added that the new management also had to contend with legacy issues such as problematic staff who could not take the work pressure under the new management.
“Our intention was to replace incompetent staff with those who could multi-task.
“Some of them resigned en bloc, but some of them had also sabotaged the zoo by smearing our reputation and circulating hate mail.
“Anyway, we don’t want to delve on negativity, and we want to move forward with our plan to turn the zoo into an awesome tourism product,” she said.
Ong added that the zoo had recorded an increased number of visitors since privatisation and the birth of animals in captivity since last year.
“For the reader who is comparing us to the Singapore Zoo, please give us time, and we will unveil a fantastic product,” she said.
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