Tuesday 31 July 2012

Johor yet to accept Taiwan's 'reject petrochem project'

The Johor state government has clarified that the letter of undertaking it signed with Taiwan’s Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co on the construction of a RM35 billion petrochemical complex in Pengerang is not equal to a final approval.

abdul ghani othman bangsa malaysia 061106 talkingYesterday, Johor Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman (left) unprecedentedly issued a Chinese statement, stressing that the state government will ensure the project does not bring a huge impact to the environment and surrounding residents before giving its final green light.

The signing of the letter of undertaking with the Taiwanese corporation on July 9 has further escalated the protest by Pengerang residents, who fear that the project would jeopardise their livelihood and the environment.

The proposed venture is part of Petronas’ Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project in Pengerang, a mega project under the Economic Transformation Programme to transform southern Johor into a refining and petrochemical centre.

According to Oriental Daily News, Abdul Ghani said the letter of undertaking only allows Kuokuang to conduct an investment feasibility study and land survey.

The letter also requires Kuokuang to conduct an environmental impact assessment to identify whether the plant is suitable to be established at Pengerang.

"We reiterated that the letter of undertaking does not guarantee Kuokuang the approval to invest in Pengerang.

"The final decision azlanof the state government depends on whether Kuokuang can comply with the laws and regulations of Johor and Malaysia, as well as the requests of society particularly on environment, health and safety."

Abdul Ghani stressed that the state government is concerned about the environmental impact, hence it is now working closely with the Department of Environment to ensure Kuokuang abides with all laws and regulations.

“Unless Kuokuang has fulfilled all the requirements, and all relevant authorities also agree that the project will not bring a huge impact to the environment and the safety of surrounding residents, the state government will not approve this investment,” the statement stated.

Official notice to be issued on relocation of cemeteries
In another relevant development, Kota Tinggi district officer Ismail Karim has confirmed to Oriental Daily News that an official notice will be issued to the Pengerang residents on Aug 1 to inform them of the government’s decision to close down and relocate the cemeteries around the area.

The notice will spell out the details on which cemeteries will be involved and where they will be relocated.

“The authorities have identified Bukit Gelugor as the new location for Pengerang cemeteries. The 58 acre site is located opposite Sebana Cove Resort at Lot 1038,” he was quoted as saying.

Ismail said the notice will also be published in local newspapers but the relocation will only commence after the new cemeteries are constructed.

The state government has yet to decide the date of relocation, he added.

NONEOn Sunday, the personnel of a funeral service company engaged by the Johor government to count the number of graves in the five cemeteries in Pengerang were surrounded by local residents who forced them to kneel and apologise to the ‘ancestors’ for ‘tampering’ with the tombstones.

The local residents have rejected the proposal to relocate the cemeteries and pledged to safeguard their homes against the Rapid project.

1 comment:

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