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Wednesday January 5, 2011

CM: Pulau Melaka to house 85m-tall substitute giant wheel from China soon

MALACCA: A new ferris wheel to replace the Eye On Malaysia will be erected on Pulau Melaka by a local private company this year.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam confirmed that Melaka Wonderland Sdn Bhd has agreed to source for a 85m-tall ferris wheel from China and are currently negotiating its purchase.

“The state has also decided to make Pulau Melaka the location for the new ferris wheel.

“This is because the former location in Kota Laksamana is near the heritage buffer zone,” he told reporters after visiting SJK(C) Bukit Beruang yesterday.

He noted that attempts to erect a new ferris wheel at the former site would delay the project as approval from the Paris-based Unesco World Heritage Committee is needed.

“There is a height restriction for development in the area and it would take at least one to two years for approval from the World Heritage Committee,” Mohd Ali said.

He said the state would either rent or lease a site on Pulau Melaka for the company to set up the new ferris wheel.

“We will not be involved in the project as it is a private initiative,” he said.

The 62m-tall Eye On Malaysia, a joint venture between MST Ad Suria Sdn Bhd and state-owned Eye On Malaysia Sdn Bhd, ceased when its Belgian owners Fitraco MV took possession of the wheel last Jan 7 over an RM18mil debt owed by MST Ad Suria.

The wheel was removed by Fitraco in October last year. Meanwhile, Mohd Ali said the state is also in negotiations with the Royal Malaysian Police to convert the present Melaka Tengah District Police station along Jalan Quayside and the Melaka Tengah Narcotics Department near Jalan Gereja into tourist attractions.

He said both police stations are located within the state’s core heritage zone and there are plans to make them into museums and tourist attractions.

He added that the state is ready to offer land on Pulau Melaka for schools such as SK Banda Hilir and St Francis Institution, both located within the state’s core heritage zone, and the police if they wish to relocate.

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