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Travel, Malaysia

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Travel, Malaysia

Asia’s first open seawater theme park in Penang closes down

The Star/ANN | Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

GEORGE TOWN, Malaysia - A tourist attraction in Batu Ferringhi has sunk into troubled waters just 10 months after launching.

Wet World Wild, touted to be Asia's first open seawater theme park, closed down about a week ago.

Theme Park Concepts and Services Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Richard Koh said the company decided to close the park, which floated 70m off Moonlight Bay, until further notice.

"We have not finalised what we are going to do next.

"Our main problem is the weather. During the super moon phase in early October, the waves were so strong that some of the park's structure and equipment were washed ashore and buried under the sand," he said.

He added that the company would have to inject more capital than originally projected if it wanted to continue operating but declined to reveal how much had been invested.

It was earlier reported that the company was paying almost RM8,000 (S$2,452.40) a year to the state government to lease about 1ha of land and sea surface.

The closed park, however, still received visitors and a number of them - with tickets bought via an online discount coupon website - arrived yesterday hoping to get wet and have fun.

Leong Kwong Chong, 21, came with two friends only to find the abandoned state of the park.

The colourful inflatable structures were sagging in semi-deflated shapes on the water.

"To see one of the latest attractions here close down without warning makes me worried," said Leong, who paid RM90 for three tickets from a website.

Koh gave the assurance of full refunds and said that all customers who had unused tickets could send a text message to his staff member Steven Chang at 017-289 0366.

The park was launched last Christmas by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

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