Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari (picture) has reiterated that the Melaka Gateway project will go on after ascertaining that it will be under the supervision of a local company and will benefit the people, especially in terms of job opportunities.
He said the state government is advocating the principle of non-interference in foreign direct investment (FDI) projects as long as they are overseen by local companies and provide various economic opportunities to the people.
The state government adopts an open policy and has no problems with China’s investments, but the business models should be well managed for the benefit of the people, he told reporters after visiting tourism centres in Melaka City yesterday.
“Now, we are giving them the opportunity to continue with their investment with China. On our part, we have made it clear that as long as the project is under local super- vision, our non-intervention policy remains.
“On this foreign investment, the project (Melaka Gateway) is still running. At present, they are scrutinising the port and ferry terminal issues. For FDI, our stand is clear, the investment can come to our industrial area.
“What matters most is that the foreign investment must take into account opportunities for locals,” he said when commenting on former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s criticism of the state government’s decision to continue the project.
In yet another Facebook posting critical of the decision yesterday, Najib took a swipe at Adly, lamenting that it was weird for the chief minister to concede that the Melaka Gateway project was very important for the state development.
Najib said it is strange that the project, which is labelled as a “foreign sell-out” when it was initiated during his premiership, is now hailed as “bringing back the golden age of the Melaka Sultanate” without making any changes to the original project scope or shareholding.
In his previous reply to Najib’s criticism, Adly said Najib’s claim was inaccurate as various improvements had been made to the original project to ensure that it would be a catalyst for the tourism sector and people’s benefits.
Spanning 246.4ha, the Melaka Gateway is a mixed commercial development project worth RM43 billion, comprising three man-made islands and one natural island, is expected to be completed by 2025.
Adly said besides the Melaka Gateway, an investment from China’s Xinyi Solar at the Elkay Industrial Park, Lipat Kajang, Jasin, had created 350 jobs for locals.
Opened in 2015 with an investment of RM2.7 billion, the company produces 3,200 tonnes of float glass and 1.99 tonnes of solar glass per day. — Bernama