No decision yet on RM40bil Melaka Gateway project

MELAKA: The Melaka Gateway project will be re-examined before a decision is made on its fate, said state Industry, Trade and Investment Committee chairman Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen.

He said the state was keen to continue with the project provided that it would directly benefit the local community.

“It should benefit the local folk by providing job and business opportunities,” he said before conducting a check on the implementation of the zero-rated Goods and Services Tax (GST) at a hypermarket in Ayer Keroh here.

On whether the state government may scrap the project as reported earlier, Mohd Rafiq said it would be decided once the review was completed.

The Melaka Gateway, spanning 1,504.9ha, is a private initiative encompassing mixed development on four artificial islands and is classified as a national project under the National Key Economic Areas.

The RM40bil project was launched in 2014 and projected to become the largest private marina in South-East Asia by 2025 with 12 precincts of residential, commercial, cultural, entertainment and lifestyle elements.

Meanwhile, a group of Portuguese Settlement leaders including Bandar Hilir constituency welfare officer Martin Theseira, Melaka Portuguese Eurasian Association president Michael Singho, regedor (village headman) Peter Gomez and Portuguese Settlement Village Development and Committee chairman Richard Hendricks hope the state government would save the last bastion of the community by stopping further reclamation work affecting their seafront.

“It is our heritage and we wantto conserve it,” said Theseira, adding that the community was not against the project if it benefitted the residents.

Singho said if they allowed the development, it would destroy the 500-year-old heritage site.

He alleged that the developer had yet to produce the latest macro Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report and had instead used a 1997 macro EIA report.

Singho said the project site was only about 200m away from the shores of the Portuguese settlement and no studies were made by the relevant authorities on the project.

“Stakeholders have not engaged in dialogues with the Portuguese community on the project.”

The project concessionaire, KAJ Development clarified that Melaka Gateway is a private project that would benefit the state government and locals.

Its chief executive officer Datuk Michelle Ong said the project was aimed at elevating the state’s economy.

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