A Chinese investor is to spend a whopping RM8 billion to develop an international island resort and marina destination off Kuraman Island, creating 10,000 jobs for the duty-free-island heavily dependent on oil and gas.
If everything is in place, construction of the mammoth 147ha multi-hotel, residential and commercial project is slated to begin early next year.
Labuan Corporation chairman Amir Hussien said the 10-year master plan, from 2019, is expected to provide multiplier effects of RM1 billion for Labuan and attract at least 800,000 tourist arrivals per year.
"The project will have trickle-down effects on the local economy and the people," he said after receiving a courtesy call from the Labuan Media Association at his office today.
He said the project would consist of 16 three- to six-star resort hotels, tourism town enclave, condominiums and apartments, international marinas, a wellness centre, a water world theme park and sea water lagoon and a signature seafood restaurant.
"There will be three more man-made islands, namely Kuraman 2, 3 and 4, to be built in stages around the existing Kuraman Island and that will be fully completed in 2029," he said.
Amir said the four islands would be transformed into the "Cancun" of the Far East with the completion of the facilities, noting that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) would be conducted to measure the impact on the Labuan Marine Park.
"Project details are being presented to the Federal Territories ministry. We have principally agreed to it but there are still technical issues to be resolved," he said.
A series of programmes, such as coral reef rehabilitation, would be carried out during and after the construction of the project to ensure the marine park, under the management of Labuan Corporation, is well protected and further enhanced.
Other issues, such as waste management, power and fresh water supply to the project, will be carefully studied to ensure compliance with international best practices.
A detailed development order application will be submitted to Labuan Corporation, a local authority under the Federal Territories ministry.
All technical compliance must be met after the approval of the land application by the Labuan Corporation before the commencement of the development project, Amir said.