MELAKA – The Chinese Government has lauded a proposal to set up an international class harbour in Melaka to strengthen economic ties between Malaysia and China.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said China envisioned an international harbour in Melaka could play an important role to realise its efforts to develop the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to boost economy in the region.
In this regard, he said Malaysia would hold further discussions with China to determine what the latter needed, and the function and specification of the harbour to be set up.
“I have aired the suggestion with my counterpart in China recently, and it was well received. Nevertheless, much has to be studied, such as what China was offering us to set up the harbour,” he added.
Liow, who is also MCA president was speaking to reporters at the Melaka MCA open house held in the Sekolah Menengah Pay Fong hall here. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron also attended the event.
On the location of the harbour, Liow said the proposal did not involve the construction of a new harbour, but only the upgrading of an existing harbour in the state. However, he did not mention the specific location of the harbour.
He said among the types of international harbours seen as having the potential to be set up in Melaka, to encourage economic activities between Malaysia and China, was a tourism harbour for cruise ships.
“The existence of a harbour for cruise ships capable of taking care of the influx of tourists between Malaysia and China can boost tourism-based activities,” he noted.
Liow said history had proven that an international harbour in Melaka had succeeded in boosting the economies of the two countries, and efforts must be made to repeat it.
The Melaka Government is still studying the proposal to develop a high capacity international harbour and among the harbours proposed to be upgraded to realise the aspiration were the Tanjung Bruas and Kuala Linggi harbours near here. – BERNAMA