KUALA LUMPUR (June 30): DAP’s Member of Parliament (MP) Liew Chin Tong said today the controversial reclamation project located near the Johor Second Link, also known as Forest City, is “threatening the existence” of the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP).
DAP MP Lim Kit Siang, who was present during a group visit to the reclamation site on June 28, 2014, noted that the size of the reclaimed island was 25 times larger than it was during his previous visit in February 15, 2014.
Citing documents obtained from the Johor Bahru Land Office, Liew said that the government created a 5,000-acre land title in the Johor Straits close to the Second Link.
“Such large reclamation work in a narrow straits will inevitably increase sediments and pose risk to the operation of PTP when the sea becomes shallower.
"We do not want to see thousands of businesses suffering shipment delays and losses only because ships movement to and from PTP are impeded by shallow waters as a consequent of coastal reclamation,” said Liew.
Quoting sources from the Ministry of Transport, Liew said that the ministry was dissatisfied with the way the reclamation was being conducted.
The ministry had written a letter to the Johor State Government expressing its concerns over the project.
Liew had called upon the new Minister of Transport, Liow Tiong Lai, to ensure no disruptions to port operations.
He proposed that Liow take “decisive action to protect national interest” if there are any risks posed by the reclamation work.
Singapore has raised concerns over any possible trans-boundary impact from the project, while other concerns include the potential environmental impact arising from the land reclamation.
Meanwhile, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin was reported to have said that the reclamation work would not impact the environment.
Forest City is a multi-billion dollar project jointly developed by Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd of China and Johor’s economic development arm, Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor.
Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd is a China-based developer which focuses on building high-end properties. The company is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.