BAGAN DATUK, June 1 — The opening of the Bagan Datuk Bridge will boost investment and development in the area, which has already attracted investor interest, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also rural and regional development minister, said so far three investors had sent letters of interest to him regarding their proposals to set up a dockyard, and two factories for producing heavy vehicles as well as electric vehicles and batteries.
The Bagan Datuk Member of Parliament said the proposed ventures were expected to create 10,000 job opportunities, and he would coordinate approval for these applications with the local authorities, state government and Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI).
“In fact, MARA (Majlis Amanah Rakyat) has agreed to ‘convert’ the existing GiatMARA in Hutan Melintang in Bagan Datuk district to help produce skilled TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) manpower for the proposed dockyard and factories.
“This means we will coordinate the polytechnic, GiatMARA and college community to meet the needs once these three facilities are in place. The realisation of these three investments can create 10,000 job opportunities by 2027,” he told a press conference here today.
Earlier, he launched the new route (Bagan Datuk) for MARA Liner Sdn Bhd’s (MLSB) stage buses at the compound of Masjid Tuminah Hamidi here before officiating at the symbolic opening of the bridge.
Ahmad Zahid said the heavy vehicle factory would be built by a listed company which is already involved in light passenger and commercial vehicle manufacturing.
On the EV and battery manufacturing plant, Ahmad Zahid said it was proposed by a vehicle making company from China, which was looking for more space for its business activities.
“Both the heavy industry and EV ventures can create no fewer than 7,500 new jobs,” he said.
Apart from this, Ahmad Zahid said a Turkish company had met him regarding a proposal to build a shipyard, as there was a high demand for repair and maintenance services by merchant ships plying the Straits of Melaka.
Ahmad Zahid said when completed the dockyard can provide about 2,500 job opportunities, and this is in line with the marine engineering, naval architecture and ship welding courses offered by Bagan Datuk Polytechnic.
“I have started discussions on these three proposed projects and will take follow-up actions. This is a good start and we have to set aside our differences. We build new confidence among the people so that even those in surrounding areas will benefit,” he said.
He said the new bridge would benefit not only the 70,000 commuters from Bagan Datuk but also at least 250,000 users from three other districts, namely the Pasir Salak, Teluk Intan and Sabak Bernam parliamentary constituencies.
On the MLSB stage bus services, Ahmad Zahid said the new routes covered include from Bagan Datuk to Kampong Gajah, Bagan Datuk to Teluk Intan and Changkat Lada. — Bernama