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The previous Melaka state government awarded 300 acres of reclamation concessions to four companies own by Mohamad Ali and Ghazale between June 2016 and February 2017. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
The previous Melaka state government awarded 300 acres of reclamation concessions to four companies own by Mohamad Ali and Ghazale between June 2016 and February 2017. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — Two Umno politicians were directly involved in the Melaka Waterfront Economic Zone (M-WEZ).

Malaysiakini reported that Umno duo, Dewan Negara Deputy President Datuk Seri Mohamad Ali Mohamad and former Melaka Deputy Speaker Datuk Ghazale Muhamad, both own companies that were awarded concession areas in the project.

Malaysiakini said it discovered this while performing a check on a new Klebang reclamation project under the M-WEZ, which is still undergoing its environmental impact assessment (EIA).

The EIA report, submitted by Konsortium Pembangunan Tanah Laut (Melaka) Sdn Bhd, showed that the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) state government awarded 300 acres of reclamation concessions to four companies own by Mohamad Ali and Ghazale between June 2016 and February 2017.

They are Dewi Pertiwi Development Sdn Bhd (DPDSB), Golden Straits Development Sdn Bhd (GSDSB), Nusa Waja Sdn Bhd (NWSB) and BBM Ventures Sdn Bhd (BBM).

Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) records showed Mohamad Ali and his wife Rosefouziah Salleh to be shareholders in all four companies and fully own DPDSB, GSDSB and NWSB.

As for Ghazale, he is listed as a shareholder at BBM Ventures, where he owns a 40 per cent stake.

At the time of the award, Ghazale — as then-deputy exco for financial, land, economic planning, investment, industry and other state matters — handled the project directly.

However, the concession areas were awarded by the state’s economic planning unit (UPEN) under the office of the chief minister, who was Datuk Seri Idris Haron at the time.

Malaysiakini also reported that all four were dormant companies with no reported revenue, with BBM Ventures reporting a loss of RM107,699 in 2016.

The M-WEZ was a key topic during the Melaka state election last month, with BN promising to implement the project that it described as a “game changer” for the state’s economy.

However, both Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) opposed it for its potential impact on local fishing activities — on which the state relies highly upon.

The M-WEZ project spans 33km of Melaka’s coastline, covering eight constituencies and promised to attract billions worth of investments for the state — with construction expected to take up 25,000 acres of land.

According to an agreement signed by the developer and the state government, once the reclamation project is completed, the state government shall receive a one-sixth portion of the reclaimed land. These lands will become “government land”.

If the developer requests assistance, the state government shall assist the companies to obtain all necessary approvals to ensure that the proposed project is “duly approved and endorsed speedily by the relevant authorities”.

Gene & Quin Holdings Sdn Bhd, one of the parent companies of the project developer, announced on its website that the project will comprise housing, commercial areas, seafront marina development and waterfront yacht facilities.

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