: Development of Melaka Gateway is not a project to sell Malaysia's sovereignty or add debts to the country, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today.
He said Malaysia would not lose its sovereignty with the implementation of Melaka Gateway because the port project would be carried in Malaysia.
"Tun (Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) said this Melaka Gateway project can cause us to lose sovereignty and increase the country's debt. Since when do investments from abroad can cause us to lose sovereignty?
"If foreign investors come, they invest in Malaysia, build factories in Malaysia, on Malaysia's soil. We can control. How can (we) lose sovereignty? We will always defend our sovereignty," he said in his speech at the Melaka government monthly assembly at the Melaka International Trade Centre in Ayer Keroh here today.
Also present were Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah, Melaka State Secretary Datuk Seri Naim Abu Bakar, the state executive council members an about 10,000 civil servants in the state.
Melaka Gateway is a private initiative project comprising mixed development on four artificial islands which are recognised as the National Key Economic Areas national project.
Najib said the project would not involve loans by, or incur additional debts to, the government as it is a private project and given to Malaysian companies.
"The land is not taken from the people, but land which we reclaim. Singapore reclaims land and sells to the people, Dubai reclaims, sells to people. In Dubai, even the desert can be the greatest metropolis in the world. Why can't Melaka, and why can't Malaysia?
"This project is for the well-being of the Melaka people and the state. Don't listen to the opposition, there is no logic in what they say," he said.