"The rejuvenated area will have shopping malls like the famous "Pavilion" in Kuala Lumpur dotted with stores retailing imported designer and other products. Hopefully with the plan the island would gradually regain its past glory of being premier shipping destination in the region," said Chairman of Labuan Corporation (LC) Rozman Datuk Isli, who is also Member of Parliament.
Rozman did not disclose the cost of the project but according to industry sources it is estimated to be RM300 million.
Rozman said: "I am a man in hurry and want the project to be on fast-track because the island needs such a project.
Discussions had been held with several parties on the concept of operating such a complex offering a variety of goods for men, children, women under one-roof."
He added that though Labuan is a 100 per cent duty-free under Sections 154 to 160 of the Customs Act 1967, there was not single shop on the island noted for the sale of branded items.
However, there is no shortage in shops specialising in the sale of liquor, chocolates and imported items like textiles and cosmetics.
"This certainly is not enough, we need more than this to become a leading shopping destination," remarked Rozman.
He said what the island needed was shops that sold a variety of branded items ranging from shirts, belts, bags, shoes and so forth.
Rozman said that the new township would also have restaurants, hotels, shoplots and hypermall, "we would create an environment with complete infrastructure and it would be up to the investors whether from here or elsewhere to grab the opportunities to do business."
Further to this Rozman said that the stretch from the present Fisheries Complex would be re-developed into an esplanade and the new water-front area would have open spaces and other amenities and serve as a public park.
He went on to say that when the projects were completed it would have a desirable "de-centralising" effect and help ease the congestion in the old sections of the town, and there would be additional roads to handle the in/out traffic from town.
Regarding the Fisheries complex now sitting on the way.
He said, it was incongruously located in town centre.
He said the National Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM) had built a RM9 million complex with a new jetty for the fishermen and boat owner to shift," they would have to re-locate by this year."