MELAKA (July 20): Despite the reclamation work for the Melaka Gateway project, the Portuguese Colony will not be uprooted.
Chief Minister Adly Zahari said that the Portuguese heritage village should be protected and preserved, and that the original plan of the RM43 billion development in the Straits of Melaka did not include affecting or destroying the the village, reported Bernama.
“Question does not arise whether the Portuguese Village will remain intact or disappear as the project only involves land reclamation and does not interfere in the lives of its residents. Instead, it will have good economic impact on them in the future.
“Instead, it involves different issues such as fishermen’s protest on the impact of the project on their socio-economic condition,” he told reporters at the presentation of compensation to Lendu Estate workers at Seri Bendahara today, according to Bernama.
However, income of the villagers had been affected, which could be resolved if the developer were to comply with guidelines set in place by authorities, the company did not deny this.
To resolve issues, discussions would continue to be held with the Melaka Gateway developer, by the state government, through Melaka Tourism, Heritage and Culture Committee Chairman Muhammad Jailani Khamis and Bandar Hilir Melaka Assemblyman Tey Kok Kiew.
The news agency reports Adly said that to benefit both the developer and the Portuguese residents, the Portuguese residents should be involved in the development of the project, directly or indirectly.
“In principle, the Melaka Gateway project will be continued as it has a positive impact on the state’s long-term economic and social development and for the benefits of the Portuguese Colony.
“So, we hope the developer can start focusing on the development of Island 1 involving a cruise terminal, besides resolving issues at hand,” he said.