24/03/2021 01:48 AM

KLANG, March 23  -- The Selangor Maritime Gateway (SMG) initiative, which aims to transform the Klang River into a maritime economic zone for the state, is expected to rake in more than RM1 billion in investments by 2030, said Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

He said the investments would be coming in the form of joint ventures with the state’s special purpose vehicles.

“The Klang River and its embankments hold great prospects that can unlock high-value opportunities for savvy businesses and investors, and we are currently in negotiations with several parties to realise a number of activities to propel the revival of the river,” he told reporters during a site visit here today.

Amirudin said SMG had a lot of potential, and to-date the Selangor government had spent about RM45 million for the cleanup of the Klang River.

However, he cautioned that while the state welcomed investors and companies to be part of the SMG initiative, any activity that built on the river's resources and ecosystem, whether as a water source, for riverside connectivity or for riverfront real estate, must be integrated into the SMG master plan to ensure that the principal objective of reviving the Klang River by making it clean again was not compromised.

He said four key pillars — river cleaning, river connectivity, river development and rehabilitation — had been identified as key drivers within SMG. 

“All these projects are targeted for completion by 2030, which is in line with the state's Smart Selangor aspiration in making Selangor Southeast Asia's leading liveable smart city," he said.

Meanwhile, Landasan Lumayan Sdn Bhd (LLSB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Menteri Besar Selangor (Incorporated), is mandated by the Selangor government to manage SMG.

LLSB managing director Syaiful Azmen Nordin said an SMG project, namely the Pangkalan Batu Urban Park in Klang, was one of the few riverbank community parks in the country and the only one along the SMG corridor. 

He said the park underwent major upgrading works under the SMG initiative to create more open communal spaces.

“This year will see the start of several tourism opportunities via the SMG project with the launch of the SMG River Taxi service soon, followed by the opening of Mangrove Point, the first nature park in Malaysia to promote a biophilic approach, later in the year,” said Syaiful Azmen.

He said work will also commence on the development of the last two catalyst projects under Phase 1 of SMG - the Grand Bazaar and Cultural Village, all located in Klang, which is the initial focus of the initiative.

This year, the SMG project will also introduce a riverside organic urban farm (a pilot project which will be embedded into Selangor's agropreneurship focus that aims to assist B40 communities), several connectivity projects and sustainable living concepts, as well as circular economic activities that address river waste and grey water.

According to SMG’s website, the master plan covers 88,000 acres (35,612 hectares) along 56 km of the Klang River.


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