MALACCA: There is no need to negatively sensationalise the Malacca Gateway project, which is meant to invigorate the state's development and revive its glory as a world-famous entrepôt 600 years ago.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron chided incessant critics of the megaproject, saying that it is his genuine wish to “do something meaningful for future generations.”
"What is wrong with having a dream? What is wrong with having a vision to build a better environment (for future generations?)
"We do not want to be in the so-called 'paralysis before analysis' group," he told reporters after chairing the state executive council meeting at Seri Negeri here, today.
Idris reiterated his ambition of seeing a world-class international port built in the state, which would be admired by other developed cities.
"Don't tell me we can't even have a dream. We want to provide the most sophisticated port in the future.
"We want to have a fully-automated port facility where all the ships and vessels passing through the Straits of Malacca would choose Malacca as their port of choice," he said.
Idris added that the Malacca Gateway project will not be just an ordinary port, but a city-port, which others would regard as a point of reference.
"This is what Malacca was 600 years ago. Malacca once set an example as a maritime entrepôt," he said.
Asked about measures being taken by the government to allay fears that the state’s identity and sovereignty would be eclipsed by the project, Idris said that the fear is caused by irresponsible quarters sensationalising the issue.
"This is a political sentiment. I think it is better if I choose not to entertain them. Let me just continue my job of making Malacca a more developed state and bring back the glories of Malacca. It is better than entertaining these mad people," he said.