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December 3, 2010

Rebirth of Kenyir Lake

AS Southeast Asia’s largest man-made attraction, the Kenyir lake did not live up to its mark as a top tourist destination.

However, the fate of Kenyir lake that was constructed three decades ago is changing for the better with its recent declaration as a Duty Free Zone (DFZ).

The Terengganu Government saw the prospects of the lake as a great holiday destination and worked hard for the past one year to have the DFZ accorded to Kenyir.

In September, the DFZ was accorded by Federal Government and the state immediately announced that Kenyir would be transformed into a top-of-the line holiday destination.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said said the Terengganu Government would inject an initial fund of RM100mil for the makeover of Kenyir and would fully open the door to a modern DFZ Kenyir site by the year 2012.

“The DFZ is seen as a catalyst to witness vast development in Kenyir as the scenic man-made lake has been left neglected for the past 30 years.

“The government also plans to woo local and foreign investors, especially manufacturers of branded attires, watches, shoes and other consumer products to establish their outlets at the site.

“Kenyir, is blessed with 340 islands while being rich in flora and fauna and with a DFZ status, it will be another boon for the growth of eco-tourism of the area,” said Ahmad Said.

The proposed development for Kenyir includes the construction of 300 hotels and chalets, a theme park, an orchid garden, a fruit orchard as well as bird and butterfly parks.

As for the 300 hotels and chalets, 100 are expected to be five star, 100 more four star and the remaining will be accorded three star status.

Kenyir will also be turned into a shopping paradise, offering merchandise at affordable prices, catering for both high-end holidaymakers and those on a shoestring budget.

A duty free complex, shophouses, condominiums and Custom department complex will be also constructed in Kenyir and are expected to be completed over the next two years.

To launch the ambitious plan in Kenyir’s transformation, the state had initiated a RM33mil project to lay underwater cables from the mainland to Pulau Bayas in Kenyir so that the island could be developed for tourism purposes.

Other attractions that will be unveiled are a floating restaurant, boathouses, jet boat tour and cable car.

The man-made lake is a fascinating tourism spot as it is home to more than 8,000 species of flowers, 2500 species of plants and trees, as well as some 300 species of fresh water fishes.

Residents in the area would surely benefit once Kenyir is developed into a modern tourist destination, however the state government shouldn’t compromise on preserving the rich eco-system of the area when carrying-out these development projects.

A thorough Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be carried out by the state before going ahead with development in Kenyir.

Source: The Star



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