Kenyir lake duty-free zone only half-completed

A duty-free zone was supposed to have been completed at Pulau Bayas, at Tasik Kenyir, in 2017. (Bernama pic)

KUALA TERENGGANU: The state government has set up a committee to evaluate and solve the issues that have caused the Pulau Bayas duty-free zone in Lake Kenyir to be delayed.

State tourism, culture and information technology committee chairman Ariffin Deraman said that the project on Pulau Bayas should have been completed in 2017.

‘’But, currently, only 77% of the overall project has been completed and the shopping complex is only 55% ready.

‘’The overall cost of the Pulau Bayas duty-free zone is RM243 million. We have spent RM118 million to date. This means there is still a balance of RM55 million in project value to be completed on the island.

‘’The state government is scrutinising several options to complete the project, namely, continue construction with the original contractor with additional conditions, mutual agreement to terminate the contract or unilaterally ending the contract,’’ he said.

He said this when answering an oral question by Hishamuddin Abd Karim (PAS-Tepoh) who wanted to know the plans of the Terengganu government on the development of the duty-free island, at the State Assembly here today.

There were six construction packages for the tax-free zone with two completed, while four could not be completed on time.

Ariffin Deraman said that the four packages were the main terminal building, passenger and service jetty, electricity substation and distribution system for high and low voltage, a shopping complex as well as water and sewage treatment plant.

‘’However, we expect the cost to complete the project to be far higher, maybe over RM70 million compared to the balance currently (RM55 million) because every project delay will impact on cost.

‘’There is also a proposal not to include Pulau Bayas as part of the duty-free zone component, and only include Pengkalan Gawi and Pulau Poh…all these will be finalised by the special committee later,’’ he said.

The special committee would be chaired by the state infrastructure, public utilities, utilities and green technology committee chairman, Dr Mamad Puteh.