|The module of the $2bn project.—File Photo
HA NOI - (VNS) The King of Pop's father, Joseph Walter Jackson has mysteriously pulled the plug on his involvement with southern province Long An's Happyland Project, the largest tourism project in Southeast Asia.
The former manager of the Jackson 5 claimed he had been attached to the US$2bn project in an investment and consultancy role, but an announcement on his family's website said he was cutting his ties to the scheme.
"Mr Jackson has decided not to proceed with any further investment or involvement in Project Happyland Viet Nam," the statement said.
No reason was given for his withdrawal.
However, Nguyen Huu Viet, PR deputy director of project owner Khang Thong Group said Joseph had not invested any money and acted only as a consultant, persuading foreign investors to back the construction of a five-star hotel with 1,000 rooms.
"Joseph signed a Memorandum of Understanding to become our consultant; he is not our investor," said Viet . "Through Joseph's efforts, two American investors have come to Viet Nam to meet us, however we were unable to reach any agreements."
He added that Joseph's decision to quit had no negative repercussions for the large scale project.
"We have attracted over 10 investors so far, some are from Sweden, Japan and South Korea, while others are also showing a keen interest in the project," he added.
The $2 billion 669-ha project will feature a chain of hotels, cinemas and restaurants as well as a boardwalk and water park when it opens in 2014. The project, claimed to be inspired by Michael Jackson's Neverland Valley Ranch, hopes to attract 14 million domestic and foreign visitors annually. The construction started in February last year. — VNS