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Company reclaiming land without EIA ordered to stop Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 November 2009 11:51

MALACCA: A company involved with coastal reclamation along Tanjung Kling has been slapped with a stop-work order for carrying out reclamation work before obtaining the necessary environmental impact assessment (EIA) report.

Malacca Historic City Council Mayor Datuk Yusof Jantan said the stop-work order was issued against the company last week after officers discovered that it had been carrying out reclamation work over the past two months.

“We have issued the order for them to stop their work or face being summoned.

“This is because they had yet to fulfill the technical requirement of submitting an EIA for their project,” he told The Star.

A check with State Economic Planning Unit director Datuk Zainal Hussin revealed that the reclamation would cover about 12ha for a housing and commercial project.

“In terms of policy, the state had previously planned for coastal reclamation.

“We had in fact briefed several residents on the project who approached us for clarification in mid-October,” he said at Kompleks Seri Negeri recently.

He added the project would still continue but is temporarily stopped pending submission of the EIA report.

Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said he has directed his officers to organise a meeting with affected residents.

“We will meet them. I will also direct officers from the state EPU to assist them,” he said.

The order follows complaints by business operators and residents living in Tanjung Kling who are unhappy with the lack of action by authorities here over the loss of their seafront.

Affected residents, in particular expatriates living along the seafront, claimed that repeated queries over the past three months for a dialogue with the state had drawn a blank from authorities here.

Pau Nyong Loi, 60, who runs the locally popular Berts Garden in Tanjung Kling, said business had dropped about 30% following the extension of the reclamation work from neighboring Klebang Besar three months ago.

“As far as we were concerned, the state government had previously announced that reclamation would only be carried out until the seafront next to the Batang Tiga police station.

“However, we were shocked when reclamation work continued beyond the police station and we are now worried about losing the seafront,” he told reporters at a brief press conference here recently.

Chong Kim Guan, 35, a business owner nearby, also expressed his concern over the importance of the seafront to a number of restaurant business operators along the coastline.

Besides the loss of business, he added reclamation had also caused seafront property prices in the area to fall.

Retired expatriate Seppo Juhani Kangassalo is upset that his family would lose the beach fronting their home.

“A home by the seafront was one of the reasons why I chose to live here in Malacca under the Malaysia My Second Home programme.

“It is disappointing that the view and scenery we had come to love for the past 13 years is now gone,” the 62-year-old Finnish lamented.

The 62-year-old said he and his family used to like the beach along Klebang Besar very much for its view and surroundings but the massive reclamation has destroyed this.

Dutch businessman Frederik Dirk Van Walsem said he had written to the Department of Environment and several state government departments to get an explanation.

“Now we are hoping to have a dialogue session with the authorities so that we will know what exactly is happening here,” said the 56-year-old who has been living here for 14 years.


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