Update: Paul Singh of KL writes that the NS Government should “First, bring back the sparkle to PD” by cleaning up the water & beaches!
TRANSIT took note of an interesting announcement from the Menteri Besar of Negri Sembilan, indicating that the state government plans to build a cable car link between Port Dickson’s new “waterfront township” and nearby Pulau Arang.
Pulau Arang will also be upgrade with more water chalets and a jetty, with international CIQ facilities and lots of tourism-related and M.I.C.E. related facilities.
But as nice as this sounds, TRANSIT has to wonder how the government has forgotten about the importance of reviving the Port Dickson rail link … something that the MB called for back in April of this year.
MB: Project to connect PD Waterfront with Pulau Arang will boost tourism (The Star)
Thursday August 11, 2011
By SARBAN SINGH
SEREMBAN: The country’s first proposed mainland-to-island cable car will be built in Port Dickson as part of the RM2bil PD Waterfront project.
The cable car project, spanning 750m, will link the new PD Waterfront township with Pulau Arang, an uninhabited island.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said the project would further help boost tourism in Port Dickson.
“The project owners have decided to add the cable car in order to add value to the PD Waterfront project. I am confident that this will be an instant crowd puller as it will be suspended above the sea,” he said.
Mohamad said phase one of the project, carried out on the 2.5ha island by a listed company, had been completed, adding that this included shophouses, a seafood restaurant with a capacity for 2,000 people, a hypermarket, and several other facilities.
[TRANSIT: That sounds rather similar to the reclaimed Pulau Melaka … and how successful was that project?]
Phases two and three, he added, would see the construction of convention and medical centres, hotels, a private college, an international school, a theme park, factory outlets, a recreational park and apartments.
[TRANSIT: Hopefully they will also plan the construction of a public transport system … otherwise congestion in Port Dickson will be a perpetual nightmare.]
“We have also asked the developer to build a multi-purpose jetty for a more organised entry of foreign tourists,” he said, adding that the state had also applied to the Federal Government for the construction of a CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) centre there, and a duty free zone.
“That will be another incentive for tourists to come over any time of the week,” he said, adding that there would also be a 2km-long boardwalk along the beach.
[TRANSIT: And once they get to the mainland of Port Dickson, what will they do then? They will be pretty much stuck since public transport is poor and taxis will helpfully charge “an-arm-and-a-leg”. Well, at least they will have the facilities above…]
Mohamad said the entire project would be financed by the private sector, adding that the state government planned to double the number of tourist arrivals to the resort town, which now stands at 1.5 million annually.
[TRANSIT: We’ve heard that before, so many, many times. How come it never actually happens as promised?]
On a separate matter, Mohamad said that the state government would also pay a half-month bonus or a minimum RM500 to all state employees in conjunction with Hari Raya.
Before we share our opinion, we thought to share this letter, by Malaysian Arab of Shah Alam, which says things nicely:
Maintain and upkeep, then spend and build (The Star, 13 August 2011) I READ with interest the intention of the Negri Sembilan government to build another tourist attraction in Port Dickson (“RM2bil cable car link” – The Star, Aug 11).
Although the idea of spending money is good for the economy, the present situation should be looked into before new ideas are realised.
Look at the number of abandoned and unkempt projects from the 4th to the 9th mile Coastal Road. They are not only eyesores but breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and definitely snakes, too.
The roads, drains and rubbish and other basic conditions should also be looked into before Port Dickson can live up to it’s “National Beach Resort” tag.
After that only can we think of adding more attractions.
We must sometimes think about “maintain and upkeep”, not always “spend and build”.
But Malaysian governments love “spend and build” especially if “spend and build” supposedly comes from the private sector and promises to put a lot of money in government hands.
Wait, perhaps instead of the cable car, they might consider using the Aerobus/Aerorail concept. After all, that concept has been kicking around Malaysia for 2 decades, having been proposed for Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, and Penang…and never built of course.
Not only that, but the Aerobus/Aerorail has apparently been under construction in Weihai, a city in China, which has both a mainland section, Weihai Bay, and Liugong island section.
Something tells us that we may once again see the Aerobus/Aerorail revived in Malaysia – sadly, long before the Port Dickson rail link will be.