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Saturday May 28, 2011

PD’s star attraction ready soon

MENTION Port Dickson and sun, sea and sand pop into mind.

The resort town which is among the top local beach holiday destinations will soon have an added attraction that will have visitors starry-eyed.

The soon-to-be-completed Baitul Hilal complex in Teluk Kemang which will feature a state-of-the-art observatory is set to become a star attraction here, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

He said the RM30mil project — a joint venture between the Wakaf, Zakat and Haj department and the Negri Sembilan Islamic Council — is poised to become a premier observatory in the region.

“Besides being a venue for the sighting of the new moon, the complex will also facilitate research and the study of astronomy.

Ready in November: Mohamad (front) after a visit to the soon-tobe- completed Baitul Hilal complex in Teluk Kemang, Port Dickson.

“It will be equipped with a state-of-the-art 609mm telescope to enable researchers to study celestial bodies. The telescope will be one of the largest in the country,” he said during a visit to view the complex’s progress.

The complex, which is scheduled to be completed in November, is located on the same spot where the new moon is traditionally sighted during the month of Ramadan.

The observatory will be equipped with the latest astronomy gadgets from the United States and will also house offices, a lecture hall, meeting rooms and an exhibition area

The facility will be able to accommodate 200 people at any one time.

Mohamad said an 84-room three-star hotel and three apartment buildings would also be built nearby for the convenience of visitors and tourists.

“The complex is strategically located and the view from here especially during sunset is breathtaking.

“We hope that this observatory will not only be a tourist attraction but a centre for astronomists and researchers to come and study the stars,” he said.