KUALA TERENGGANU, Sept 8 (Bernama) -- The duty- free island in Kenyir Lake will begin operations in January next year even though the whole project is not fully completed.
Chairman of the state Tourism and Culture Committee Datuk Mohd Jidin Shafee said the development of the duty-free project comprises two packages, on Bayas Island and Pengkalan Gawi.
"On Bayas Island, we have six packages, and so far, 65 per cent have been completed, while at Pengkalan Gawi, we have five packages with 100 per cent of some parts such as the customs complex, completed.
"Several other components will be ready by March 2016 and others by April 2016, but on the request of many parties, trade in the duty-free zone will be started in January," he said.
Replying to a supplementary question from Syed Azman on the losses borne by the state government due to the delay of projects which could not operate by the set dates, Jidin said there was no question of wastage as they were still under construction.
"How can we say the projects are a waste, they are not even completed, they have not even been sold...the state government's objective is to ensure the success of the projects to help attract tourists to Terengganu, thus improving the economy of the people especially residents in the area.
"So far, the cost allocated to the Bird Park is RM5.5 million, Orchid Park (RM7.085 million), Butterfly Park (RM7.399 million) and Tropical Park (RM7.399 million)," he said.
Replying to a supplementary question from Abdul Wahid Endut (PAS-Wakaf Mempelam) on the products to be sold on the duty-free island, Mohd Jidin said they are based on the concept of 'factory outlet' and involves various products such as kitchenware, branded clothes and women's accessories.