Wednesday 23 April 2008

Wheeler dealer CM to add a bigger wheel to the Malacca fun fare

Malacca already has a teeny weenie wheel, in a little fun fare by the Malacca River, (see video below) it only opens after dusk, and does not seem to be well patronised, this mini wheel must have caused RM millions to go down the drain,

The Malacca state government will, as reported in the local media, now be dumpling RM42 million in a joint-venture project for the construction of an integrated complex and to shift the medium sized (60 metre high) wheel from Taman Titiwangsa, in Kuala Lumpur, after the end of August to Malacca, where it will be permanently erected.

Mohd Ali Rustam the Chief Minister of Malacca said, "the wheel will be sited in a two-hectare site next to the Malacca River, apart from the wheel there will be a water screen display and aerospace walk featuring projections to give visitors a feel of being in space."

Whatever that is supposed to mean.

He said "the state government had agreed that its subsidiary Kumpulan Melaka Berhad" (which also runs the 110 metre high Taming Sari viewing tower in Bandar Hilir, see HERE) 'would enter into a 40:60 j-v agreement with operators of the 'Eye on Malaysia', MST AD Suria Sdn Bhd."

I wonder who owns MST AD Sdn. Bhd.?

Someone with UMNO political connections no doubt?

“On our part, we (the state government) "have agreed to provide land for the project and RM12 million, with the remaining being borne by the company concerned,” “The Ferris wheel will become a permanent ‘tourist landmark’ here and is in line with our effort to promote Malacca as an open-air theme park."

I thought that Malacca was trying to get UNESCO approval to be declared a World Heritage Site, now they had better have a back-up plan and also turn to the Walt Disney Corporation to be listed as a Disneyland look-alike !!!

“Several other projects such as the 52-lane bowling centre and international go-kart track in Ayer Keroh are also expected to be completed this year,” he added.

More money down the drain?

He was reported as saying that "the wheel would earn enough to let the operators get back their investment within four years, based on projected ticket sales."

The 'Eye on Malaysia' in Kuala Lumpur

This may be wishful thinking, since the wheel apparently has not been a money maker as the 'Eye on Malaysia’ even though it was located at a prime site in Kuala Lumpur, in fact the government was reported as having bought tens of thousands of tickets to give away free to schools to boost the visitor numbers and consequently subsidised the operator using tax-payers’ money.

An estimated 6.8 million tourists are expected to visit Malacca this year with the number likely to increase to eight million by 2010.

Big deal!

This visitor forecast may fail to be achieved if the state government continues to destroy Malacca’s cultural and historic heritage!

The new Malacca motto may need to be changed from "Bersatu Teguh" ("United, Strong") to:

"Si tu id aeficas, ei venient. Ager somnia"

- If you build it, they will come

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