KOTA TINGGI, Aug 16 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin took a breather from the city landscape in the southern state to see what’s happening at the latest tourism attraction, Desaru Coast Destination Resort, here today.
The development, with a gross development cost of RM4.5 billion, is well on track for completion and is set to change the tourism landscape in Johor’s south-eastern region.
Muhyiddin, who is also chairman of the Khazanah Nasional Bhd board of directors, started the visit with a 15-minute briefing at Anantara Desaru Coast Resort and Villas, which spans over 10.11 hectares.
He then visited Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast before moving on to the upcoming Desaru Coast Ferry Terminal site, which when completed in June 2021 would be the 16th international entry point to Johor.
Accompanying the prime minister during the almost one-hour visit were Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, who is also a member of Khazanah Nasional board of directors; Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri; Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Ir Hasni Mohammad as well as Khazanah Nasional managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan.
Later at a press conference, Desaru Development Holdings One Sdn Bhd managing director and chief executive officer Roslina Arbak said construction of the ferry terminal is currently at 53 to 54 per cent completion.
She said the the ferry terminal, which would boost connectivity with direct access to Singapore, Batam and Bintan Islands, would also include a customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) complex to be built in Desaru.
“The prime minister expressed that he is very happy with the development of the Desaru Coast and he encouraged us to continue making the destination more attractive to travellers,” she told reporters after Muhyiddin’s visit.
She also said the ferry terminal is expected to receive a total of 10,000 passengers for the half-year period from June to December.
“The Desaru Coast Ferry Terminal CIQ complex is designed to clear 300 passenger arrivals at any one time.
“By 2025, the ferry terminal is expected to handle up to 102,000 arrivals per year,” she added. — Bernama