Bilateral ties between Malacca and China have never included military relations, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said today. (Pix by AMIR MAMAT)

MALACCA: Bilateral ties between Malacca and China have never included military relations, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said today.

Idris condemned a blog posting which suggested a section of the Melaka Gateway project have been set aside as a Chinese naval base. He called the post slanderous.

“This blogger writes without basis. The title of the posting is surely catchy, in which he suggests Malacca is to be a military base for China,” said Idris after chairing the state executive committee meeting at his office today.

“It is a provocation that is uncalled for, more so when Malaysia and China are forging strong bilateral ties, especially Malacca.”

The Apanama blog had allegedly uploaded copies of two letters signed by Idris in a posting that has made its rounds on social media, prompting the Chief Minister to issue a scathing rebuttal.

The first letter, said to contain Idris’ signature, dated March 23, 2014, was to notify the managing director of KAJ Development Sdn Bhd, Datuk Michelle Ong, on the state government’s agreement for a 609-acre plot of reclaimed land under the Melaka Gateway project to be granted a freehold status.

The second letter, also said to be signed by Idris, dated Jan 9, 2015, was to notify former Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel on the state executive committee’s approval for the plot of land to be granted a freehold status.

“The minutes noted by the minister on the letters were erased. Why? What was the reason for that? There was ill-intent. The reason why the minutes by the minister were erased was to create suspicion among readers,” said Idris.

Idris said the development along the Malacca coast did not include any military, security or defence aspects, but instead were focused on economic development and the physical development of the area.

“All development done is in accordance to the law. The requisition for freehold status for the 609 acres was done in accordance to the law. It was requested based on the area of land to be reclaimed,” said Idris.

“The ones requesting it were Malaysians, not Chinese. Reclamation was done in accordance to guidelines under the National Land Ordinance and the National Land Council.”

Idris said the Melaka Gateway project was approved in 2007, with 609 acres of land to be reclaimed for the purpose of the port project, which is to be set on four man-made islands accessible from Pulau Melaka.

“To bring development, the status of the land needed to be freehold. Even the reclamation works have not been completed yet. Thus far, only 350 acres have been reclaimed.”

He said that the state government are currently holding the consent of the freehold land titles.

“All the conditions are kept here. That means no land will be transferred to foreigners unless the government or state authorities allows it.”

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