Saturday, April 14, 2012

RM22b eco-tourism, Mersing Laguna to rival Bali (7 PICS)

MERSING: The RM22.2bil Mersing Laguna project will help the country achieve its aim of attracting 36 million tourists by 2020, said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

She said the mega project would also attract some 1.2 million tourists to Mersing by 2021.

“Last year, we managed to draw 26.4 million tourists. To increase arrivals, we need to ensure we have more tourism projects and packages that will interest them,” she said after visiting the Mersing Tourism Information Centre yesterday.

Dr Ng said the project would also help develop Mersing and boost the livelihood of the local people.

“Thousands of jobs will be up for grabs once the project is completed in 2021. Local eateries and other tourist areas should upgrade their facilities,” she said.

Once completed, Mersing would see a five-star hotel, a large aquarium and a boardwalk along the seafront, she said.

“The company in charge of the mega project, Radiant Starfish Bhd, will be spending RM30mil to upgrade the current jetty,” she said.

Dr Ng said the project would resemble Nusantara in Bali, Indonesia, with hotels, resorts, spas and other forms of entertainment.

“Just like Nusantara, the Mersing Laguna will have 22 hotels, a water theme park, a polo field, marinas and plenty of shopping areas for tourists,” she said.

The Mersing Laguna project includes the reclamation of 809ha of land to create three new islands.

Meanwhile, during the Wanita Bakri International Women's Day celebration here on Friday, Dr Ng urged all non-Muslim women to understand the implications of hudud law should the Opposition govern the country.

She said these could be seen from statements by Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Nik Aziz Nik Mat on matters related to women over the years, such as not wearing lipstick to work or looking beautiful could “invite rape”.

Although Malaysian women had progressed and now enjoyed greater rights, she said these were not automatic.

“These rights are not given just like that and we want the women to know that the Barisan Nasional government does not suppress women,” she said.

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