GEORGE TOWN: Sept 22, 2008 By ANDREA FILMER
The Penang state government will have an open tender for a tourism development project on Pulau Jerejak by year-end.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng announced Monday that the project would entail “billions” in investment and take at least 10 years to complete.
He said the state wanted to promote holistic development on the former penal colony, including eco and sports tourism.
“There are also ideas for medical and film tourism on the island,” he said after meeting with Sime Darby Berhad representatives in Komtar.
“We are looking at billions (in investment) and if all goes well, we can call for tenders before the end of this year,” Lim added.
He said the state had received great interest from both foreign and local investors regarding Pulau Jerejak and other development projects on the island.
“To date, we have at least two Middle Eastern and one Asia Pacific investor who have expressed interest in creating a holistic masterplan for Pulau Jerejak. “On the local front, Sime Darby has come forward with proposals on the project and other related projects in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER),” Lim said.
He added that the foreign investors involved were all linked with local companies and all tourism-related initiatives in the state would be conducted by open tender.
Lim added that there had been significant progress in other development projects in the state.
“From this Thursday to Saturday, the public will see various development policies that we have worked so hard on for the last few months. All these projects are on track,” Lim said, adding that they involved tourism projects on the state’s mainland and plans for Komtar, a state icon that houses the offices of local, state and federal authorities.
On another matter, Lim said the state would take strong action on debtors who failed to settle their state student scholarships and loans.
“There is still RM15.6mil owed through these loans from 3,416 debtors. The state intends to make these names public through newspapers and the Internet and if all fails after warning letters are sent, we will sue them,” he said.