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Monday, July 14, 2008

World-class luxury project on Pulau Banding

ECO-Tourism Destination: Sultan Azlan Shah (second from right) being briefed by Mustapha Kamal (right) on the herbal garden concept at the opening of the Belum rainforest resort and Pulau Banding Rainforest research centre recently.

MKN Group Sdn Bhd aims to put its mixed development project on Pulau Banding, Perak, on the map as an exclusive world-class luxury project.

The 10-year project, which has yet to be named as the proposed master plan, is pending local authority approval, would have a gross development value of at least RM600 million, said Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar, who controls MKN.

The project, which will be gated, would have 45 homes with each unit sprawled over 1.6 to 2.4 hectares.

According to Mustapha Kamal, the houses will be worth US$3 million to US$5 million (RM9.75 million to RM16.25 million) each and MKN will target mainly foreign buyers.

The project will also have two five-star boutique resorts operating under international brands, 35.2ha for eco-tourism activities and a rest and recreation centre.

"MKN will minimise the felling and cutting of trees through professional planning during the development process. FRIM has done its audit on the island and we will adhere to all guidelines in environmental conservation and sustainability," Mustapha Kamal told Business Times during a site visit to the island recently.

He said the development was expensive because the properties will all be sited and positioned according to the natural ground terrain and alignment. This means the environment, consisting of endemic tree, exotic and endangered species, will not be destroyed.

Pulau Banding, covering an area of 250.4ha, is located 330km north of Kuala Lumpur and is situated on Temengor Lake. It is at the heart of the 130 million-year-old Belum-Temengor rainforest complex.

The rainforest complex comprises the Royal Belum State Park, the Gerik Forest Reserve and the Temengor forest reserve.

MKN's parent, the Emkay Group, had bought some 117.6ha from Fima Group for RM15.8 million in August last year, including the 27-room Banding Island Resort.

More than 120ha was awarded to Emkay by the Perak state government to transform the island into an eco-tourism destination.

By New Straits Times (by Sharen Kaur)

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