- 2007/12/24 RM 1 billion 'Venice of the East' project for Malacca

The state government has approved the reclamation of a 72ha site off the Portuguese Settlement for mixed development, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said.

He said a private company, Bumi Tabah Sdn Bhd, which is undertaking the reclamation would create six man-made islands that would have hotels, shopping malls and high-end residential apartments.

"Malacca can be called Venice of the East once again after completion of the six islands, expected within five years," Mohd Ali told reporters after presenting presents to children at Portuguese Settlement.

He said there would be road links from the commercial area of Taman Melaka Raya to Tengkera, adding that the state also planned to construct a coastal highway connecting Melaka Raya, Padang Temu, Pertam and the Air Keroh-Merlimau-Jasin highway.

The Chief Minister gave his assurance that the fishermen along the coast would not be affected by the projects, as a new jetty would be built at Klebang beach soon.

"The new jetty would serve as a centre for all fishing boats to land their catches," he said.

Bumi Tabah director Joseph Sta Maria said the project would complement the coastal corridor development planned by the state government.

"We are investing RM1 bil for the reclamation which is expected to be completed within 18 months together with the creation of the six islands," he said.

Sta Maria said the project would be marketed in Dubai, Australia, Singapore and China next year.

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