Malacca businessmen want say in bridge project discussions

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 17 Oct 2013

MALACCA: The Malacca business community has urged the state government to include it in discussions on the proposed Malacca-Dumai Bridge project.

Malacca Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Tan Poh Seng said the government should convene a round-table discussion with local business leaders from all communities before reviving the multi-billion-ringgit pro­ject.

Tan said under current economic conditions, many locals were employed under minimal salaries and matters would worsen with an influx of foreigners via the bridge into the already saturated local job market.

“It would be easier for Indo­nesians to cross over here where some employers might prefer hiring them on lower pay scales.

“Both the federal and state governments should iron out adverse impacts of the project first,” he said.

Tan said the government must be transparent on how the funding from the Exim Bank of China was to be repaid, the period of repayment, the interest rate imposed and the commitment of the Indonesian counterpart on the repayment.

“We have to evaluate whether the local business community will benefit or suffer from the project.

“Local tourists could also frequent the other side more often in search of cheaper products due to the exchange rate between the ringgit and the rupiah.

“The findings should be tabled prior to the construction of the project apart from details like border controls to safeguard the interest of locals,” he added.

Tan said the government should also consider the security aspects of the project as the bridge would make it easier for foreigners to commit crime and escape in just hours.

Related story:

Concern over straits bridge plan

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