Malaysia – The Melaka Waterfront Economic Zone (M-WEZ) involves two Umno politicians directly. According to Malaysiakini, the Umno pair of Dewan Negara Deputy President Datuk Seri Mohamad Ali Mohamad and former Melaka Deputy Speaker Datuk Ghazale Muhamad own firms that have been given concession areas in the project.
It was uncovered when checking on a new Klebang reclamation project under the M-WEZ that is still undergoing its environmental impact assessment (EIA).
Between June 2016 and February 2017, the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) state administration gave 300 acres of reclamation concessions to four firms owned by Mohamad Ali and Ghazale, according to the EIA report given by Konsortium Pembangunan Tanah Laut (Melaka) Sdn Bhd.
Dewi Pertiwi Development Sdn Bhd (DPDSB), Golden Straits Development Sdn Bhd (GSDSB), Nusa Waja Sdn Bhd (NWSB), and BBM Ventures Sdn Bhd (BBM) are the companies in question.
According to CCM documents, Mohamad Ali and his wife Rosefouziah Salleh control 100% of DPDSB, GSDSB, and NWSB.
Ghazale is a stakeholder in BBM Ventures, where he has a 40% stake.
As deputy exco for finance, land, economic planning, investment, industry, and other state concerns at the time of the award, Ghazale managed the project personally.
The concession areas, on the other hand, were allocated by the state’s economic planning agency (UPEN), which was headed by Datuk Seri Idris Haron at the time.
All four firms were idle, according to Malaysiakini, with BBM Ventures reporting a loss of RM107,699 in 2016.
BN pledged to adopt the M-WEZ during the Melaka state election last month, calling it a “game changer” for the state’s economy.
Both Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) were opposed to it because of the possible influence on local fishing operations, which the state heavily depends on.
The M-WEZ project would stretch 33 kilometers of Melaka’s coastline, encompassing eight constituencies, and is estimated to bring in billions of dollars in investment for the state, with construction taking up 25,000 acres of land.