MELAKA: The controversial Melaka Gateway mega project here will go on as planned Chief Minister Adly Zahari (pic) confirmed.
Adly said 60% of the project has been completed by the developer and it will be allowed to continue.
Previously, there was uncertainty as to whether the Melaka Gateway project, which is part of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), would be continued or shelved.
This followed disputes over the freehold land status given to the developer and environmental impact issues affecting the nearby residents of the historic Portuguese Settlement.
Up till now, it has been a policy by the Melaka government to only grant leasehold, not freehold, titles to developers of commercial and housing schemes in the state.
Adly said Melaka Gateway, spanning a 1,505ha site, includes mixed (residential, commercial and industrial) development on three artificial islands.
It also includes an international cruise ferry terminal that is being developed jointly with a United States’ company, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, at the first island.
Besides the cruise ferry terminal on Pulau Melaka East 1, a commercial city is slated for Pulau Melaka East 2, a liquid bulk terminal on Pulau Melaka East 3, and a multipurpose terminal (including for containers) and maritime industrial park on Pulau Melaka East 4.
“The work is already in progress and our priority now is to ensure the first island is completed by the end of this year, he said after leaving a meeting with Transport Minister Anthony Loke at his office in Seri Negeri on Thursday (Sept 20).
Adly said the reclamation work for the ferry terminal is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
The RM43 billion project was launched in 2014 by then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
It comprises three manmade islands and one natural island, and is slated for completion in 2025.
Adly also revealed that the meeting also touched on another port in Melaka -Tanjung Bruas (at Tanjung Kling) - that has good potential to be developed as a shipping hub.
Meanwhile, Adly denied that the Melaka Zoo and Night Safari would cease operations following his visit there at the end of August.
“We have no intention to close the zoo and we only asked the current private management to improve the site,” he said.
He added that a decision will be reached by next week after an assessment is completed on all aspects based on a public report, an internal technical report and the auditor-general’s report.
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