Massive Dubai-like reclamation project planned for Langkawi by Bakun dam's Ting


File photo of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad signing a plaque in 2011, while Tan Sri Ting Pek Khiing of Upline Hotel and Resort (which went into receivership later) looks on, during the opening of Four Points Hotel in Padang Matsirat, Langkawi. - Bernama

LANGKAWI: After keeping a low profile for the last 16 years, developer Ting Pek Khiing has announced a Dubai-like RM30 billion development project to be built on reclaimed land in Langkawi.

The Langkawi New City project will be located on 81ha of reclaimed land off the west side of the island, reports Bernama.

The project, which will be undertaken by his group of companies, will be launched tomorrow (June 1), he told a media briefing on the project here today. He did not name the companies.

Ting said the project would involve the construction of 30,000 high-end condominium units, commercial centres, berthing facilities for ocean liners and yachts and other facilities.

“Several companies in our group will be involved in the development which is expected to be completed in 10 years’ time, or even earlier,” he said, without disclosing the names of the companies involved.

He told Bernama that the project, which would spur foreign investments in Langkawi, would be the biggest that he ever embarked on since he started his business activities on the island back in 1991.

Ting was reputed to have built a hotel on the island in a record 100 days in preparation for the inaugural Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exposition in 1991, a feat which caught the attention of then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Sarawak-born businessman said he had spent over 20 years on the development plan, claiming that he had already won recognition from developers from France, Russia and South Korea.

“This project is bound to be the biggest ever development of its kind in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia,” he said.

He said the project’s environmental impact assessment had been conducted, adding that the plan was designed to preserve the beautiful natural surroundings of the area.

“This development would be akin to that in Dubai. This project would get more people to invest and stay here for a longer period, rather than for just one or two days,” he added.

Ting's company Ekran Bhd was awarded the construction contract for the controversial Bakun Dam in 1994, which was opposed by environmentalists and native rights groups.

The analyst Anil Netto recalls that Bakun's coffer dam collapsed more than 20 times during construction, and the site was said to be jinxed as it was built on native ancestral grave sites.

Ekran encountered financial problems during the East Asian financial crisis in 1998. It was unable to complete the Bakun dam job, but was reportedly compensated a massive RM950mil by the government.

Ting's Plaza Rakyat project, undertaken by Wembley Industries Holdings Bhd, next to the Pudu Raya bus terminal, also ran into problems, recalls Anil.

His companies, Ekran and Wembley, were both eventually delisted and ended up in receivership.

Ting himself was declared a bankrupt by the Kuala Lumpur High Court in 2010.

Now, it looks like Ting is set to rise like a phoenix from the ashes.

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