Making sense for Mersing

The proposed Laguna Mersing. Probably, something that is more at home somewhere in the gulf states area

HRH Sultan of Johor Tuanku Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar announced the cancellation of the mega ambitious RM 22 billion project for  Mersing, Laguna Mersing. he cited that the developer Radiant Starfish development Bhd failed to raise the RM 200 million paid up capital, as stipulated by the Johor State Government.

Sunday September 9, 2012

Johor Ruler: Mersing Laguna developer failed to fulfil condition

By NELSON BENJAMIN
nelson@thestar.com.my

MERSING: The RM22bil Mersing Laguna project has been cancelled because the developer failed to fulfil a condition in the agreement, announced Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.

He said the developer, Radiant Starfish Development Berhad, had failed to raise the paid-up capital to RM200mil within six months as required under the agreement signed on Feb 25 this year.

“Owing to the failure, the project is hereby cancelled,” the Sultan said, adding that he himself had performed the ground-breaking ceremony for the mega project on April 14.

The project was to have involved the construction of hotels and resorts, a marina, a water theme park and shopping malls. It was to also involve land reclamation to create three man-made islands.

Heads held high: Sultan Ibrahim walking past a line-up of soldiers at the Special Forces anniversary day celebrations at Kem Iskandar in Mersing. — Bernama
Heads held high: Sultan Ibrahim walking past a line-up of soldiers at the Special Forces anniversary day celebrations at Kem Iskandar in Mersing. — Bernama

The first phase was to have been completed in seven years.

The Sultan said he would monitor all development in Johor to ensure they were successfully carried out and benefited the people and state.

Meanwhile, palace officials confirmed that Radiant Starfish Development Bhdchief executive officer Ungku Safian Abdullah died on Friday in Kuala Lumpur from health complications.

In his speech at the Special Forces anniversary day celebrations at Kem Iskandar here yesterday, the Sultan also reminded arms suppliers, including retired army personnel and generals, not to raise the prices of equipment supplied to the armed forces.

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When the developer of Laguna Mersing got the approval for the project and was announced by Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak as one of the nine landmark projects in the East Corridor Economic Region (ECER) which are identified to be catalyst and propel development.

Friday March 9, 2012

RM22bil plan to turn Mersing into the likes of Bali and Hawaii

By ZAZALI MUSA
zaza@thestar.com.my

JOHOR BARU: Radiant Starfish Development Bhd plans to position Mersing town into an international tourist destination on par with Gold Coast, Bali, Caribbean and Hawaii.Chief executive officer Ungku Safian Abdullah said the town had all the ingredients to become a tourist hotspot and its potential had yet to be exploited.“I can guarantee you that Mersing town will no longer look like what it is seven years from now,” he said at a press conference yesterday.

Ungku Safian said Mersing, which was located on the north east of Johor, was sandwiched between 40 unspoiled islands and the 200-million-year old Endau-Rompin National Park.

Ambitious plan: Ungku Safian (left) briefing Ghani on the Mersing Laguna project.

He was speaking after the signing of memorandum of agreements withYPJ Holdings Sdn BhdSinohydro Corp (M) Sdn BhdShengrong International Group Co Ltd and CIMB Insurance Brokers Sdn Bhdwitnessed by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.

The agreements entail the development of the RM22bil Mersing Laguna, which involves the building of hotels and villas, land reclamation, a water theme park and provide insurance coverage for the project.

Ungku Safian said the reclamation works and related infrastructure would cost RM4.2bil and RM1bil respectively, adding that some RM17bil was required for develop the rest of project which would take seven years to complete.

The components of the project will consists 22 blocks of five-storey boutique hotels with 3,000 rooms, 4,000 villas and service apartments, marina facilities and commercial development

“Mersing Laguna is aimed at attracting tourists with high spending power and travellers who would love nature and eco-tourism,” he said.

Mersing Laguna is one of the nine projects announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Putrajaya on Feb 28 under the East Coast Economic Region.

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It was said that right from the start, the confidence level for this mega ambitious project by the developer has not been encouraging. To embark into the development of such project requires enormous investment, let alone solid financial back up. The reclamation works alone is valued at RM 4.2 billion, which requires the investment in before any other superstructure works are able to to proceed. Six months ago,  Ungku Safian said the reclamation works should be done in three years time.

From the investment banking standpoint, the risk assessment for a project of such nature, magnitude and economic serrounding is somewhat high.

09 March 2012 | last updated at 01:30AM

Mersing to be RM22b tourist haven

ECO-TOURISM: Laguna project to be developed on 809ha reclaimed land

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman (centre) Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman (centre) and Radiant Starfish Development Bhd president and chief executive officer Ungku Safian Abdullah (second from left) looking at model of Mersing Laguna project at an agreement signing ceremony yesterday. With them is one of the company’s partners, Chinese construction conglomerate Sinohydro Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd chairman Fan Jixiang (right). Pix by Roslan Khamis

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THE once sleepy district of Mersing in the northeast of Johor is set to be transformed into a RM22 billion high-end international eco-tourism destination in seven years.

Called Mersing Laguna, the resort will see a new wave of exciting developments that include boutique hotels, service apartments and waterfront villas on 809ha of reclaimed land, touted to be the country’s biggest land reclamation project.

The project was launched yesterday with the signing of agreements by master developer Radiant Starfish Development Bhd and four partners — Chinese construction conglomerate Sinohydro Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd, China-based theme park developers Shengrong International Group Co Ltd, Johor education foundation YPJ Holding Sdn Bhd and CIMB Insurance Brokers Sdn Bhd.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, who launched the event, also witnessed the signing ceremony.

Present were Johor state secretary Datuk Obet Tawil, East Coast Economic Region (ECER) chief executive officer Datuk John Isaace and Radiant Starfish Development Bhd president and chief executive officer Ungku Safian Abdullah.

Mersing Laguna, which started its three-year reclamation work, is located between the Endau-Rompin and the Marine Parks off the coast of Mersing.

The reclamation project will involve a 36km stretch of the beach. The project was one of the nine announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to be implemented in the ECER region that straddles Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan and Mersing in Johor on Feb 28.

Read more: Mersing to be RM22b tourist haven – Columnist – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnist/mersing-to-be-rm22b-tourist-haven-1.57943#ixzz26Hixu6tt

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Sources said that it is unlikely that the developer could manage to convince and bring in that many five star hotel brands, when the project is still at this point. Hotel super brands would want to see the captive market for the said area and be convinced that their brand would be a success, before they would be willing to come in. In short, they would want only success story and their brand not to be impaired in anyway, due to low demand.

It means that the developer must quickly build and have at least an anchor brand and a world class attraction first, even before they start to work hard to sell. Then they would need to do mega-hype promotion exercise to make Laguna Mersing a really known destination, even before it is fully developed. Only then, the hotel super brands might be convinced to come over and lend their brand, at a price.

Skeptics also dwelled on the transportation infrastructure to Mersing. “Will the Federal Government build a new highway linking Mersing to Johor Bahru and the main North South Highway trunk? How about airport?”.

The RM 200 million capital requirement condition for Radiant Starfish Development Bhd is necessary, as it would be more detrimental had the project started to roll out and get stuck in the middle. The debris of an abandoned project would be a hazard if not an eye sore for Mersing.

The six months period allowed for the developer to raise the conditional paid up capital demonstrates that Johor State Government takes the gamble seriously. Only parties who can deliver should be given approval for such a massive project. It is about managing expectations for all stakeholders; Federal Government and State Government economic planning, potential investors, potential contractors and providers and most importantly, the rakyat and how their lives would be affected by this.

Perception, is another matter. For the common simpletons of Mersing, this Laguna Mersing proposal is beyond their wildest imaginations. They are unable to conceive that there would be a huge reclamation exercise and 22 blocks of five star hotels would be erected, a few hundred yards across from the Mersing river mouth. The magnitude of such massive project and how their lives would change is beyond their comprehension.

Hence, the announcement made by HRH Sultan Ibrahim is a timely welcome by some of the Mersing folks. Deputy Minister of Defense Dato’ Dr Abdul Latif Ahmad, who is MP for Mersing said such massive development has yet to be the aspiration of majority of Mersing folks. “Mersing folks are happy because HRH Tuanku is listening to their aspiration”.

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Published in: on September 12, 2012 at 17:03  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Alhamdulillah, DYMM Tuanku mendengar dan mengutamakan kehendak rakyat khususnya dari Mersing. Saya percaya orang Mersing mungkin masih tertanya-tanya tentang impak projek yang sebegini besar terhadap cara hidup mereka. Mungkin mereka akan bertambah senang, tetapi apakah pengorbanan dan perubahan yang perlu mereka lalui?

    Pada hemat saya Kebawah Duli Tuanku telah membuat keputusan yang betul. Ini satu risiko yang terlalu besar untuk ditanggung oleh rakyat. Sekiranya pihak bakal pemaju tidak dapat memenuhi syarat yang ditetapkan, elok benarlah projek ini dibatalkan.

  2. “many failed project” – can say which ones or not? Say lah, don’t lokek one.

    Otherwise you sound like the Oppo hippos who make wild and unsubstantiated allegations only.


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