KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — The controversy surrounding the Melaka Gateway project should be answered by Datuk Seri Idris Haron as he was the chief minister then, according to the state Umno deputy liaison chief Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Mohamad.
Mohd Ali told Utusan Malaysia that Pantai Kundor assemblyman Datuk Nor Azman Hassan had nothing to do with the March 23, 2014 official letter issued on the project by the Melaka government as the latter had not been elected back then.
“Why should he [Nor Azman] comment on the letter that went viral? He only became an assemblyman after the 14th general election, 2018.
“I felt something amiss when I read the statement by Pantai Kundor wanting to answer the letter that went viral on social media.
“Idris who signed the letter should answer. But this isn’t the case and he is silent until now as if nothing had ever happened,” Mohd Ali was quoted as saying.
Nor Azman has insisted to have no knowledge of the letter, which allowed the reclamation of sea land to build artificial islands off the coast of Melaka.
The project had been launched with much fanfare by then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and was to have started in 2018 and completed in 2025 but was cancelled in 2020 when Pakatan Harapan took power.
According to Nor Azman, the letter was never raised to the attention of the Melaka Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency.
The much talked-about letter circulating on social media since last Thursday, is alleged to bear the signature of Idris in a deal with KAJ Development Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Michelle Ong.
The letter claimed that 609 acres of land was changed to freehold status for 99 years in accordance with the National Land Code of 1965 and approval from the National Land Council.
Idris is currently Sungai Udang assemblyman and was recently sacked from Umno together with Nor Azman for withdrawing their support for Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali as Melaka chief minister, triggering the collapse of the state government.