Amidst the rapid development taking place in the historic state of Malacca, several abandoned projects or ‘while elephants’ involving the housing, commercial, industrial and tourism sectors, among others, have remained an eye sore.
However the state government has taken a proactive step by turning these ‘white elephants’ into catalysts of economic development especially for the people of Malacca.
State Transport, Project Rehabilitation and International Trade Committee chairman, Datuk Lim Ban Hong said seven such projects had been restored due to the state government’s joint efforts with the relevant parties.
"Alor Gajah district has no abandoned project, we have one in Jasin at Taman Batu Gajah Pasir and six others in Malacca Tengah district which have been restored," he said.
He said five projects in Malacca Tengah involved the tourism sector, namely the Ambassador Hotel restoration project to Novotel Hotel in Malacca Raya; Portuguese Village Tourism Front at Ujong Pasir; Watercity Resort to Gold Coast Resort in Bukit Katil; Pulau Malacca; and Pulau Besar Resort.
Lim said another project being rehabilitated in Malacca Tengah involved developing residential and commercial buildings of the Malaysia China light industry township in Tanjung Minyak.
"The project in Ayer Keroh Industrial Estate here is in the process of being restored while eight abandoned ones in Malacca Tengah are being looked into by the state government to be rehabilitated," he said.
Three are tourism projects involving Paradise Malacca Village Resort in Ayer Keroh; Hotel Merak in Pantai Puteri; and Pacific Inn in Tengkera. He said five others involved the commercial and housing sector, namely the Esplanade condominium in Klebang; Malacca Plaza in Jalan Hang Tuah; Bachang Mall in Bachang; shopping mall in Emperor Hotel, Jalan Munshi Abdullah; and Arab City in Pulau Malacca.
Lim said redevelopment being carried out on these restored projects might be different from the original ones depending on the suitability in the area at the present time.
"In Ayer Keroh, for example, probably 20 years ago the area was suitable for industrialisation but now we see residential and recreational areas such as for golf, have been developed," he said.
He said to expedite and facilitate the process, the state government provided fast track facilities to new developers to coordinate with the related agencies.
However he was disappointed with the attitude of the opposition that deliberately distorted the abandoned projects issue in the state by alleging that the state government did not help those involved.