MELAKA, Aug 14 — Chief Minister Adly Zahari has dismissed as untrue former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s allegation that the Melaka Gateway project is being implemented without any changes.
Adly said that after taking over the state government, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration has introduced improvements to the project so that it becomes a catalyst for the tourism sector and benefits the people.
He said the previous administration had planned to lease land in the project to foreign companies, which became an issue that worried PH and the people in general.
“When we took over the state government, we did not allow land in Melaka Gateway to be leased to foreign companies. It was only after we made many improvements in the best interests of the people and Melaka itself that we allowed the project to continue.
“Now we see that he (Najib) is mentioning the project again, but it was actually implemented during his tenure.
“Our task now is to correct the mistakes of the previous administration,” he told reporters outside the State Legislative Assembly here today.
On August 6, Najib on his Facebook page expressed surprise that when he was the prime minister, Melaka Gateway was labelled as a ‘foreign sell-out’ project, but is now seen as important to the state’s development, as being able to restore it to its former glory in the Melaka Sultanate, even if the project is unchanged in scope as well as shareholders.
The RM43 billion project, launched in 2014, comprises three manmade islands and one natural island, and is slated for completion in 2025.
Adly said the state government is constantly holding discussions with the relevant parties involved in the project so that it does not stray from its original objective of promoting tourism.
“For now, Island 1 (Melaka Gateway) for tourism and maritime tourism will be continued. Our focus is on making Melaka Gateway a future tourism asset for the state government,” he said.
He added that Najib was previously given the opportunity by the people to develop the country, but now that the people have chosen PH to administer the country and Melaka, PH should be given the opportunity to carry out its responsibility to the best it can.
“In this time period he (Najib) should instead focus his attention on cases involving himself, for example 1MDB,” he said. — Bernama