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Local Malaysian execs push for Samal Casino reopening

LOCAL Malaysian officials agreed with their Philippine counterparts
to touch base with Ekran Berhad for the possible reopening of the
mothballed multi-billion-peso Samal Casino Resort.

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance Fuentes, chair of the recently
concluded 2nd BIMP-Eaga Chief of Ministers, Governors and Heads of
Local Government Forum here, said Malaysian officials from Sarawak
will initiate talks for Ekran Berhad to resume its casino operations
in the Island Garden City of Samal.

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“There’s no time frame to reach the objective but we hope we can do
it as soon as possible,” she said.

The Malaysian delegation, headed by Minister of Industrial
Development Datuk Ewon Ebin, vowed to constantly keep in touch on the
development regarding efforts to urge Ekran Berhad to reopen its
casino venture.

Ebin vowed the “full assistance and cooperation” of Malaysia to
accelerate development initiatives in the sub-regional economic

Pushing for the continuation of the venture, Igacos Mayor Antonio
Antalan said the possible reopening of the casino resort would be a
welcome development as it would boost economic activities and
generate employment for the constituents.

With the closure of the Samal Casino Resort in 2000, the locality is
reportedly losing P12 million in real estate taxes annually.

The resort, developed at a cost of more than $250 million in the
early 1990s, is valued at P2 billion before it was shut down due to
continuing financial losses as a result of the Asian financial

In 2001, it was reported that Ekran Berhad was selling the facility
at half the price of its estimated value.

Long-term lease was another option offered by Ekran Berhad to

Samal Casino Resort is located in Samal’s Kaputian district where
Davao Gulf’s best beach resorts are located.

The resort’s total land area is 250 hectares but only 18 hectares
have been developed.

The original plan by Malaysian investors was to develop an economic
zone on the site, which used to be a coconut plantation.

The resort started operating as a hotel and casino in late 1997 with
300 rooms and a ballroom that could accommodate 3,000 people.

About 300 locals lost their jobs when the Malaysians pulled out of
Samal Island.

The resort is about 30 minutes by boat from Sta. Ana wharf, Davao
City, Mindanao’s premier economic hub.

Ekran Berhad is a highly diversified Malaysian conglomerate listed on
the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.

The company’s biggest project was Bakun Dam in Sarawak which it
reportedly failed to complete, but was paid a hefty sum for its
expenses by the Malaysian government.

Samal Casino Resort was Ekran Berhad’s contribution to the East Asean
Growth Area concept promoted by private business chambers in the
region during the early ’90s.

The growth area straddles the countries of Brunei Darrussalam,
Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

contributor: davaohive@yahoogroups.com

Filed under: Davao Business Updates

2 Responses

  1. Davao Hive says:

    New airline flies Davao skies
    Published : 2007-11-28

    A new airline will soon serve travelers to Kalibo, Cebu, Subic and Manila from Davao City. Pacific Pearl Airways will start its operations in December with two Advanced Boeing 737-200 aircrafts with around 112-114 seating capacity.

    According to Richard Ryu, vice president of DavKor International Group Corp, initial flights will be to Kalibo and Subic but the plan to serve other destinations in the country is in the pipeline.

    International destinations will include Brunei, Kota Kinabalu and Palau. They are still finalizing permits to fly to South Korea from Subic.

    Pacific Pearl Airways’ objectives are: provide its customers with efficient service and value for money in airline transportation; offer its employees and associates with professional corporate environment, opportunities for career development and just compensation; enable its stockholders to achieve optimum investment returns; and contribute to the economic, social and cultural advancement of the Filipino Nation.

    The company is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission with permits from the Philippines Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) and Air Transportation Office.



    friendster site:


  2. Peng Hok says:

    Nice site!

    This is one site I am sure our neighbors would not want to open! Might give them sleepless nights!

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