Helping to keep mega project afloat

MELAKA: Melaka Government has intervened to address the hiatus faced by the developer of Melaka Gateway in completing the mega project according to the stipulated schedule.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said his officials have brokered for two ports, including one to cater for berthing of cruise ferries to be constructed at the site, as a move to keep the project going.

The project was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in February 2014.

“We need to keep the project afloat despite the challenges faced by the developer,” he said after witnessing an agreement between state government and KAJ Development Sdn Bhd (KAJD) for the construction of both the ports at Seri Negeri in Ayer Keroh on Wednesday.

Idris noted the development progress at Melaka Gateway was slow-moving because of various factors including the high sale prices of the reclamation land as well as delay in getting approvals from Federal and international agencies relating to the nautical projects at the site.

Idris displaying the artist’s impressions of the Melaka International Cruise Terminal which will be built as part of the Melaka Gateway project. — Bernama

Idris displaying the artist’s impressions of the Melaka International Cruise Terminal which will be built as part of the Melaka Gateway project. — Bernama

He said the development at the site was not progressing at a desired pace as projected when the project was launched.

Idris said KAJD was also given 36 months to complete both the ports or the state government would source for another gainful venture to keep the project advancing.

He said the reclamation works also hit a snag where only 85ha of land or 40% had been completed to date although the agreement stipulated that it should be 100% by now.

“However, the state will not rest on its laurels and will continue to make Melaka Gateway a success story,” he added.

Separately, Idris announced that Melaka’s tithe (zakat) collection this year has increased by 29.64%, reaching RM59.02mil.

He said RM45.53mil was collected in 2016, with contributions coming from 554,418 individuals.

“This year, the number of contributors was registered at 573,483, where tithes from surplus financial gains were channelled towards the disbursement programme based on Islamic tenets,” he said.

Idris said zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam where disbursements were made to the beneficiaries to ensure that the money is prudently used.

Earlier, Idris received tithes from six government-linked companies and corporate organisations at his office.

The tithes were contributed by Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad (RM500,000), Kolej Universiti Islam Melaka (RM187,285); Perbadanan Melaka Holdings Sdn Bhd (RM126,492); Koperasi Permodalan Felda Malaysia Bhd (RM90,000); Bank Muamalat (M) Bhd (RM74,820) and Melaka Sentral Sdn Bhd (RM25,000).

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