Melaka Confident Bridge Will Make Positive Impact
MELAKA, March 13 (Bernama) — The proposed bridge spanning over the Strait of Melaka from Melaka to Dumai, Sumatra should be pursued as it will make a positive impact on the economic and social ties between Malaysia and Indonesia.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the 35km bridge, which was estimated to cost USD$13 billion (RM39.52 billion), was feasible as the funding would be through a private finance initiative.
“As investors from Melaka are willing fund the project, it will not involve government funding. And I think this project is viable and profitable in the long run for both countries,” he told reporters after opening the Bernama-Antara Summit 2011 here Sunday.
He said the project was bogged down by negative perceptions but the benefits would allay any misconception.
“The bridge project is still pending as negotiations with the Indonesian government are still on-going. The prime minister will be briefed on the matter soon.
“If we take into account the Sumatra’s population of 70 million and the country’s population of 28 million, at the rate of 10 per cent of the population using the bridge, a total of 10 million people would commute between the two countries,” he added.
Mohd Ali said the bridge had received support from the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) and the Malay World Islamic World (DMDI), of which he is the president.
He said Bernama and Antara could play a role in the bridge issue by publicising the positive impact of the bridge to woo Indonesian investors to invest in the Melaka’s tourism sector.
Melaka is keen to have Indonesian investors set up hotel chains, theme parks and shopping complexes in the state, he added.
He called on senior officials from Bernama and Antara to join the DMDI economic forum in October for the benefit of both countries.
Bernama general manager Datuk Hasnul Hassan, Antara Supervisory Board chairman Hendry Subiakto and Antara chief executive officer Ahmad Mukhlis Yusoff were present.
About 70 journalists and media practitioners discuss and put up ideas on broadcasting and journalism at the three-day summit meeting entitled “Connecting the Strait of Melaka”.
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