Sunday 19 May 2024
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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on July 17, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The RM43 billion Melaka Gateway project is on track, said its concessionaire, brushing aside concerns that it is being reviewed by the new government and may be shelved.

KAJ Development Sdn Bhd said it has requested for a meeting with key stakeholders such as the transport ministry and the Port Klang Authority to present latest updates on the project.

“We are continuing our engagements with key stakeholders, such as meeting the chief minister of Melaka and the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP),” Melaka Gateway founder and KAJ chief executive officer Datuk Michelle Ong said in a statement.

As a privately funded project, Ong said both the state and federal governments do not need to inject a single cent into the development, or provide KAJ with any form of government guarantees.

“Instead, we succeeded by forging long-term sustainable and effective partnerships between the private and public sectors to create a platform for appropriate risk allocation and value-for-money outcomes,” she said. “Melaka Gateway is a catalyst project by Malaysians, for Malaysians.”

On June 29, KAJ said it had met with the CEP, an advisory body headed by former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, to explain the Melaka Gateway project, which will have a positive generational impact on Melaka.

During the meeting, KAJ said, it presented a viable domestic and regional business plan for the project, which involves a collaboration among the federal government, the state government, private-sector businesses, investors and Melaka citizens.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said recently that the government has not seen any sign of work carried out on the development site near Pulau Melaka and that approval related to its maiden proposed facility — the Melaka International Cruise Jetty — has lapsed.

Melaka Gateway consists of three man-made islands and one natural island that includes the Melaka International Cruise Terminal, which is developed in partnership with US-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

“Work on the cruise terminal reclamation and jetty is also halfway done and is currently earmarked for completion by the third quarter of 2019,” the group said.

KAJ also said one of the components of the Melaka Gateway project, Pulau Melaka East 1, which was launched in 2014 and covers 1,366 acres (552.8ha) of land, is set to become the largest private marina in Southeast Asia by 2025 with cruise terminal and jetty, commercial, cultural, heritage, entertainment, lifestyle and wellness elements.

As for the Melaka International Cruise Terminal, KAJ expects it to attract 2.5 million tourists a year.

In June 2017, Melaka Gateway appointed SinoHydro Ltd (M) Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PowerChina International as its engineering, procurement and construction management contractor to complete building the RM43 billion project.

“PowerChina is our contractor and our investors are from Miami (the US), Holland, Germany, the Middle East and South Korea, contributing billions in foreign direct investment. Our investors are supportive of our vision for Melaka Gateway,” Ong added.

Once the Melaka Gateway is fully completed, KAJ said, the project is estimated to create between 40,000 and 45,000 jobs over a 10-year period, with a projected economic multiplier that is anticipated to generate RM1.19 trillion for the local economy.

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