MALACCA: THE Malacca government is hoping to attract 20 per cent of more than 3,000 yachts passing through the Straits of Malacca each year with the construction of marinas along the coasts of Klebang and Tanjung Kling.
The building of the marinas would be a private sector initiative with the support of the state government in terms of land, basic infrastructure and policies.
Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron said the state, once a famed port of call for sailors from all corners of the world, had the potential to see its glorious past resurrected.
"I was told that at least 3,000 yachts pass through the Straits of Malacca annually and if we can get 500 of them to stop here, it would not only boost tourism but also create an economic spin off for the local economy.
"The sailors travelling in their own yachts are in a league of their own and they will definitely contribute to our economy.
"With the marinas, we would also provide services such as maintenance for their vessels, medical attention, food and beverages and also other facilities to attract them," he said after launching two new Catamarans, a 50-footer and a 33-footer, built by local boat manufacturer, Boat Explorer Sdn Bhd, at the Seafarer Restaurant in Klebang here yesterday.
Idris said Klebang and Tanjung Kling could be the next "Gold Coast" in southeast Asia.
"In Malacca, there are many areas which could be turned into marinas but we have to be selective and make it happen. Just look at Sungai Melaka, once an eyesore, it is now the most visited tourist attraction in the state.
"However, before implementing the marina projects, we have to conduct a proper study."
Asked if the new state administration had any plans to salvage sunken treasures believed to lie off the coast of Malacca, Idris said no proper and credible research had been done on the possible locations.
"If there are pictures of these treasures and proper research done on the vessels, then we do not mind embarking on an exploration to look for them."
Idris also thanked Boat Explorer, a branded recreational boat builder, for helping to promote the state among its customers.
Read more: CM: Malacca can be the next Gold Coast - General - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/cm-malacca-can-be-the-next-gold-coast-1.298497#ixzz2W1RBkIvC