MELAKA: The state government has given the go-ahead for the controversial Melaka Gateway project.
Chief Minister Adly Zahari confirmed that the mega development would go on as the developer had completed 60% of the project, and had been allowed to continue with it.
The Melaka Gateway project was left hanging in the balance following disputes on freehold status accorded to the developer, as well as its possible environmental impact on the nearby Portuguese Settlement.
Disputes on the freehold status arose as it has been the Melaka government’s policy to only grant leasehold titles to developers of commercial and housing schemes in the state.
The site of the future Melaka Gateway and the Straits of Malacca. — Filepic
Adly said the Melaka Gateway project, spanning 1,504.9ha, would encompass a mixed development on three artificial islands, including the construction of International Cruise Ferry Terminal jointly developed with US company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
“The work is already in progress, our priority now is to ensure that reclamation and construction work on the first island is completed by end of next year,” he said after a meeting with Transport Minister Anthony Loke.
The RM43bil project that was launched in 2014 by then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, covered three manmade islands and one natural island. It is slated for completion in 2025.
Adly added that the meeting also touched on another port, Tanjung Bruas, which had good potential to be developed as a shipping hub.
A scale model of the Melaka Gateway project. — Filepic
Meanwhile, Adly denied that Melaka Zoo and Night Safari would cease operation.
“We have no intention to close the zoo and we only asked the current private management to improve it,” he said, adding that a decision would be reached by next week after assessing all aspects based on a public report, an internal technical report and the auditor-general’s report.