Tuesday, November 10, 2009


- Sanrio Hello Kitty Attraction First To Be Set-up In Southern Asia

Nusajaya: Themed Attractions And Resorts Sdn Bhd (TAR), A Wholly-owned Subsidiary Of Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Yesterday, 7 November 2009 Entered Into A Strategic Alliance With 5 Partners To Create The First Family Indoor Theme Park Featuring World-renowned And Popular Children’s Characters.

Once completed, the 60,000 sq. ft. indoor facility located in Nusajaya, one of the 5 flagship zones in Iskandar Malaysia, will comprise – The Little Big Club that is designed around HIT Entertainment's popular characters namely Thomas & Friends™, Bob the Builder™, Angelina Ballerina™; Barney & Friends™ and Pingu™; Sanrio Hello Kitty Attraction showcasing Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters by Sanrio; and a themed family restaurant of popular local cartoonist, Lat. The indoor theme park is located in a complex that also offers a 300-room facility under the Traders brand by Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts and approximately 100,000 sq. ft. of retail space.

Tunku Dato’ Ahmad Burhanuddin, Chief Executive Officer / Managing Director of TAR, signed the agreements with Frank Foley, General Manager Asia, HIT Entertainment Limited for The Little Big Club; Makoto Sato, Managing Director of Sanrio Entertainment Co., Ltd and Managing Director of Sanrio Co., Ltd for Sanrio Hello Kitty Attraction; Madhu Rao, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts; and Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer / Managing Director of UEM Land Holdings Berhad. Tunku Ahmad Burhanuddin also signed a Heads of Agreement with Datuk Mohammed Nor Khalid, or more popularly known as Lat, the Managing Director of Kampung Boy Sdn Bhd, for the themed family restaurant. The signing was witnessed by Datuk Haji Abdul Ghani Othman, Johor Menteri Besar, Chye Kuok, Chairman of Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Harun Johari, Chief Executive Officer of Iskandar Regional Development Authority.

Tunku Dato’ Ahmad Burhanuddin in his speech said: “These partnerships are a landmark achievement for Malaysia, giving the much-needed boost for our leisure and tourism industry. The arrival of these strong global brands, who will share the same roof as Malaysian owned brands, marks a unique and first of its kind initiative in the region. Following the signing of Legoland Malaysia in December 2008, today's signing will further strengthen Iskandar Malaysia as a major tourist destination for families with children under 12."

"We are expecting approximately 400,000 visitors to the gated indoor theme park in the opening year, with a majority coming from Malaysia, Singapore and countries in the neighbouring region, particularly since the theme park is strategically located near the Second Link,” said Tunku Ahmad Burhanuddin.

The project, according to Tunku Ahmad Burhanuddin, has the capacity to further stimulate Johor’s economy and will benefit its people through the creation of over 1,000 job opportunities. “We want this indoor theme park to be more than just an attraction. With all the facilities that we are building, it will be a destination for families and friends to spend quality time and forge closer ties,” he further elaborated.

Mr. Jeff Dunn, President and CEO HIT Entertainment, commented: “Attractions are a significant part of HIT Entertainment’s business and Puteri Harbour provides an exciting opportunity for the company to launch its very first The Little Big Club in Asia. This is the next major milestone in the developmental journey of The Little Big Club brand, which we intend to expand further. Children across the globe love our brands and we hope that through The Little Big Club experience, which is both fun and educational, they can fully immerse themselves in the lives of their favourite characters - Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina, Barney & Friends and Pingu.”

Mr. K. Tsuji, Executive Vice President of Sanrio Co., Ltd. Said: “We are very excited to see Sanrio's first entertainment facility, the Sanrio Hello Kitty Attraction, in southern Asia. We are pleased to have TAR as our partner for this important project. Our theme park - Puroland in Japan is a place for kids to have their dreams come true and we believe the new facility in Puteri Harbour will carry on the same mission to entertain children from this region."

“This is a new phase for the Malaysian cartoon-art scene– the little Kampung Boy and friends joining the big gathering of popular children’s characters loved by many from all over the world,” enthused Datuk Mohammed Nor Khalid.

“The Traders brand has become a well-known brand in Malaysia since the opening of the Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur in 2006, a hotel that caters to smart business and leisure travelers. We are very experienced in managing hotels in integrated developments and are delighted to be working with TAR to establish Puteri Harbour as a key destination for leisure and business travellers in the area,” said Mr. Madhu Rao, managing director and chief executive officer of Shangri‑La Hotels and Resorts.

Encik Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim, CEO and Managing Director of UEM Land Holdings said: “We are excited about the proposed development as it is in line with UEM Land’s overall vision for Puteri Harbour. We expect that it will create commercial activities and spillover effects that will add further value to Puteri Harbour. This type of strategic development and alliance are key factors in realising UEM Land’s vision of developing Nusajaya into a regional city.”

Construction for the estimated RM350 million complex located at Puteri Harbour is expected to commence mid-2010, with completion expected at the end of 2012. The indoor theme park has 3 gated floors with the 2 umbrella brands, namely Sanrio Hello Kitty Attraction and The Little Big Club, taking centre-stage. A series of entertaining rides and other attractions will be available for those visiting Thomas & Friends on the upper floor. Lat’s themed family restaurant, on the ground floor will offer visitors a taste of Malaysia’s favourite and popular dishes. Other attractions at the theme park include interactive games, activities and play structures of the various characters.

About Themed Attractions and Resorts Sdn Bhd

Themed Attractions and Resorts Sdn Bhd or TAR, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad. It was incorporated in June 2009 to develop and operate themed attractions and resorts to enhance the leisure and tourism industry in Malaysia, with a special focus on families. TAR is currently managing two projects namely Kidzania which is located in Kuala Lumpur and the Family Indoor Theme Park located in Puteri Harbour, Johor.

About Khazanah Nasional Berhad

Khazanah is the investment holding arm of the Government of Malaysia entrusted to hold and manage the commercial assets of the Government and to undertake strategic investments. Khazanah was incorporated under the Companies Act 1965 on 3 September 1993 as a public limited company. Khazanah has a nine member board comprising representatives from the public and private sectors. YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, the Right Honorable Prime Minister of Malaysia is the Chairman of the Board.

Khazanah has stakes in more than 50 companies with assets valued in excess of USD25 billion. Khazanah is also the state agency responsible for strategic cross-border investments. These companies are involved in various sectors such as power, telecommunications, banking, automotive, airport management, infrastructure, property development, broadcasting, semiconductor, steel production, electronics, investment holding, research technology and venture capital.

About HIT Entertainment Limited

HIT Entertainment, owned by private equity investment group Apax Partners, is one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT's portfolio includes properties, such as Barney™, Bob the Builder™, Thomas & Friends™, Pingu™, Fireman Sam™, Angelina Ballerina™ and Rainbow Magic™. HIT represents Chapman Entertainment’s Fifi and the Flowertots™ and Roary the Racing Car™ in North America, as well as Wallace & Gromit™, Shaun the Sheep™, Timmy Time™ and Aardman Classics from Aardman Animations. HIT’s lines of business span television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer products licensing and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. HIT is a part-owner of US-based preschool channel, PBS KIDS SproutSM, and international preschool channel JimJam, (outside of the US, UK and China). For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.

About Sanrio

In Spanish, “San” means sacred, and “Rio” means rivers. As the founder believes civilisation originated from rivers, he used “Sanrio” as the company name and developed a business based on the concept of social communication, to show his respect to human civilisation. Founded in 1960, the company made “communication” as its business objective. It’s main aim is to promote social communication, encouraging people to give fine gifts to their friends to strengthen their friendship."Small Gift, Big Smile" is the foundation of everything Sanrio did. We are proud to say we have been creating smiles for over 40 years. Sanrio believes that a gift is more than just a gift. A gift is a means of expressing our heartfelt feelings for others. An individual is able to successfully demonstrate their concern and love to the person receiving the gift. In the end, the gesture of giving gifts creates a “feel-good’ emotion for both the sender and receiver and puts a smile on everyone’s face. This principle is shown in all Sanrio activities; be it in designing a stationery set, theme park, retail store or an animated television series. Sanrio boutiques showcase the ultimate Sanrio collection to all.

About Kampung Boy Sdn Bhd

Kampung Boy Sdn Bhd has been producing Malaysian cartoon artworks for newspapers, comics, story books and TV animation since the 1980’s. It is the production house for cartoonist Lat, 58, who is popular for his “Kampung Boy” books and TV animation series that depict his simple life as a village boy. Lat’s cartoons transcend the differences of the multi-races in Malaysia and entertain people of all ages.

About Traders Hotels

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and/or manages 65 hotels under the Shangri-La and Traders brands, with a rooms inventory of over 28,000. Traders Hotels are designed to satisfy the needs of the fast growing mid-market travel segment by offering a wide range of facilities, and efficient, practical and friendly hospitality, at competitive rates. Traders Hotels are located in Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Changzhou, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Penang, Shenyang, Singapore and Yangon, with scheduled openings in Bangalore and Macau. The group has over 40 projects under development in Austria, Canada, mainland China, France, India, Macau, Philippines, Qatar, Seychelles, United Kingdom and the United States. For more information and reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the website at www.tradershotels.com.

About UEM Land Holdings Berhad

UEM Land Holdings Berhad is the flagship company for the real estate investment and development businesses of UEM Group and Khazanah Nasional Berhad. UEM Group is wholly-owned by Khazanah, the investment holding company of the Government of Malaysia.

UEM Land Holdings’ wholly-owned subsidiary UEM Land, is currently undertaking the development of Nusajaya, the key driver of Iskandar Malaysia, into a regional city with diverse catalysts developments to create and promote economic growth and development in the area and to meet various economic activities and market demands.


NAME: T. Buvanes
TEL: 014 2611 859
EMAIL: buvanes@gmail.com

NAME:Jasmine Low
TEL:017-623 0288


Source : Bernama
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