PETALING JAYA: The former developer of the proposed RM43 billion Melaka Gateway project, whose contract was terminated last month, made a public appeal today to be allowed to continue.
Michelle Ong, chief executive of KAJ Development Sdn Bhd urged the federal and state governments to allow the company to continue as “it will be very difficult for anyone else to catch up quickly”.
Her appeal was made in a statement a day after the Melaka state government was reported to have said the project would be continued “but we have some technical issues that we need to fix,” according to Chief Minister Sulaiman Md Ali, quoted by Utusan Malaysia.
The state government said on Nov 16 that the contract with KAJ Development was terminated after the company failed to complete the work by the given date.
Ong said that her company had spent close to a decade planning and nurturing the project, which entails the construction of three reclaimed islands, a deep-water port and a cruise terminal, and commercial and residential property.
She said a study had forecast a multiplier effect of RM1,200 billion on the economy, and claimed to have “spent close to a billion ringgit getting all kinds of studies done by international experts”.
Ong also said the project had the potential to make Melaka among the top contributors to the economy, on par with or surpassing Selangor or Penang.
She accused the state government of not acting to take advantage of Melaka’s strategic location on the major shipping and trading route between Asia and the Middle East.