MELAKA, July 20 — The Portuguese Colony here will not be ruined or uprooted and moved to another place following the development of the RM43 billion Melaka Gateway in the Straits of Melaka despite the reclamation work for the project.
Chief Minister Adly Zahari said based on the original plan of the project, the development would not affect or destroy the Portuguese heritage village which should be protected and preserved in order to sustain the culture of the minority community in the state.
“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 the presentation of compensation to Lendu Estate workers at Seri Bendahara, here today.
However, he said the company did not deny that the project had affected the income of the villagers who relied on fishing, but it could be resolved if the developer were to comply with the guidelines set by the authorities.
He said hence, the state government through Melaka Tourism, Heritage and Culture Committee Chairman Muhammad Jailani Khamis and Bandar Hilir Melaka Assemblyman Tey Kok Kiew would continue to hold discussions with the developer of Melaka Gateway to resolve the issues,
Adly said the developer should also involve the Portuguese residents in the development of the project either directly or indirectly for the benefit both parties.
“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. — Bernama