Guests and members of the public, including 400 orphans from six orphanages, were treated to free rides until 3am on Saturday after it was launched by Governor Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob.
The ferris wheel was brightly lit and performances by local artistes including Ning Baizura and Mawi kept the crowd entertained as they waited to have a ride.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam hoped the RM50mil project would attract visitors although the world was in an economic downturn.
“I believe, with the Eye On Malaysia, we will draw more visitors and hit our target of 6.8 million tourist by year’s end,” he told reporters at a press conference after the launch.
The attraction was expected to lure 700,000 visitors for rides, in particular tourists from neighbouring countries, he said.
Ferris wheel operator Ad Suria Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Adam Yong Abdullah said the 42 air-conditioned gondolas of the ferries wheel would be the main attraction on the 1.6ha leisure park.
“The park will have three attractions, the first being the Eye On Malaysia. A 30m by 60m water screen will be ready by December and a 4D space exhibition will be operational by February next year,” he said.
He said the water screen, tipped to be the largest in the region, would display scenes of Malacca’s landmarks and the exhibition would give patrons a feel of outer space.
For orphan Mohd Amirul, 14, from Rumah Budak Laki-Laki Tun Abdul Aziz, the ride was an adventure.
“I was excited and nervous. I was afraid at first but felt better when my friends assured me that everything would be fine during the 12-minute ride,” he said, adding that he hoped to have a second go.
Among those present were Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Noh Omar, his Deputy Datuk Saiffuddin Abdullah, Malacca Historic City Council mayor Yusof Jantan and State Tourism, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Datuk Seet Har Cheow.
Source : STAR
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