Sunday 14 Jul 2024
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LANGKAWI (June 1): The proposed RM30 billion Langkawi New City project is tycoon Tan Sri Ting Pek Khiing’s dream of building a city on the island, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“It’s his dream to build a city in Langkawi. Everybody can dream. We cannot stop people from dreaming but whether they get an approval or not is another matter,” he told reporters after a meeting with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia here today.

Ekran Bhd executive chairman Ting, 72, who is known for the development of the Bakun Hydroelectric Dam in Sarawak, and for building the Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort in 100 days, reportedly said today that he plans to re-submit his latest plans to the Langkawi Municipal Council after the proposal was rejected twice since 2008.

Yesterday, Ting said the project, which will feature 30,000 super condominium units, commercial centres, berthing facilities for ocean liners and yachts and other facilities, would be built by a group of companies on an 810-hectare reclaimed site off the west coast of the island, adjacent to the Langkawi International Airport.

The project is inspired by the Palm Island development concept with buildings on stilts in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

During Dr Mahathir’s campaign trail in the recent general election, the 92-year-old criticised the island’s Tropicana Cenang mixed development project that roped in China’s largest five-star hotel management company, Wanda Hotels & Resorts Co Ltd, saying that it did not benefit locals.

Tropicana Corporation Bhd’s unit Cenang Resort Sdn Bhd will develop the 5.28-acre (2.14ha) tract fronting the Andaman Sea.

It features the 350-room Wanda Realm Resort Langkawi, two 40-storey residential towers and commercial components, with a gross development value (GDV) of RM1.55 billion.

When asked about the difference between Ting’s and Tropicana’s developments, Dr Mahathir, who is also Langkawi Member of Parliament, said it is Ting’s "business to do business" here.

“Anybody can come (to do business here), it is not just Ting (but) he was here before, and during the time of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, he was made bankrupt.

“So now he wants to revive his own business. We support all businesses (but) if he is going to bring Chinese (nationals) to live here, it is a no-no. However, if he wants to do business here, he is welcome,” Dr Mahathir added.

Meanwhile, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said in a statement today that the local government has yet to receive Ting’s proposal for the project.

“This project is strange because it has not been discussed, considered or approved by my government. In the past, Ting submitted a reclamation proposal when I was the Kedah Menteri Besar in 2013. He wanted to reclaim and sell the land to locals and foreigners but the proposal was not followed through with a deposit that is in accordance to Kedah’s law for mega projects,” he added.

However, he said Ting would need to resubmit an official proposal to the state that adheres to the laws relating to environmental and social impact for the government’s consideration.

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