The region's largest project, worth 43 billion ringgit ($ 14 billion), started in 2014, was stopped by the government of Malacca
According to the Singapore Straits Times, the government of Malacca on November 16 (last Monday) made an official statement that one of the developers of the Melaka Gateway project had not been able to complete reclamation work for 3 years. However, another developer (KAJ Developments) considers this decision biased and is considering the possibility of challenging it in court.
According to a Straits Times report, KAJ Developments CEO Michelle Ong told the newspaper at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur last week, "We want to settle this matter peacefully, but otherwise we are ready to take legal action." And she added that there was no reason to terminate the project.
“We do not experience a shortage of investors. The agreements signed for one of the three islands brought in $ 3 billion a year, while investments in the deep-water port amounted to 3.8 billion ringgit, and in the cruise terminal - 1.4 billion ringgit. In March, due to COVID-19, construction work was temporarily suspended, but resumed two weeks ago. "
The Melaka Gateway project is one of the largest Chinese investment deals concluded by the government of former Prime Minister Najib Razak, including the ongoing construction of a railroad along the east coast worth 44 billion ringgit.
Questions about the need to increase the capacity of the Malacca port have been raised for a long time. As well as the fact that China's participation in the Melaka Gateway project (at the initial stage) is due to its strategic interests in the Strait of Malacca.
Three years ago, the Melaka Gateway was seen as part of a whole Kuala Lumpur-Beijing port alliance aimed at developing shipping and logistics along the China Silk Road and increasing bilateral trade.
The Government of Malaysia in 2016 initiated a study of the project by the World Bank. The study showed that the construction of a new port on the west coast of Malaysia is not urgently needed, since the existing ones are not fully used.
At the inauguration of the Malacca megaproject in February 2014, the then Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak spoke highly of the participation of the Chinese investor Power China International, according to IBI's Asia correspondent.
When Najib Razak lost the 2018 Malaysian elections, the new Malaysian government abandoned several projects with Chinese capital and revised some. Melaka Gateway was among the latter. However, later it was resumed.
At the inauguration of the project in 2014, Michelle Ong told IBI, “The Melaka Gateway will consist of two artificial and one natural islands with a total area of 609 acres. The embankment will be 15 km long. The main highlight of the project will be an exclusive yacht marina capable of receiving and servicing 1000 yachts, and this will be the largest yacht infrastructure in Asia. "
The forecast for the commissioning of the first stage of the marina's yacht berths in 2014 did not come true.
As for Malaysia, it should be noted that it is extremely attractive for boating due to the absence of a tax on pleasure boats and the lack of mandatory registration. In addition, the crew is not required to be licensed to sail yachts up to 79 feet (24 m).
This makes the region very attractive for foreign yacht owners looking to reduce their yacht maintenance costs.
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