Johor's Forest City project alarms Singapore

Johor's Forest City project alarms Singapore

PETALING JAYA - The Singapore government has confirmed that it is perturbed over Johor's Forest City project involving massive land reclamation that could affect the island state.

"Given Johor's close proximity to Singapore, we are naturally concerned about any possible transboundary impact on Singapore from property development projects that involve reclamation work in the Straits of Johor," a Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said in a statement.

The spokesman said there were international obligations for both Malaysia and Singapore authorities to work closely on such matters.

The Republic was responding to media queries following Saturday's front-page story in The Star on the republic's concern over the pro-ject.

The report highlighted that the 2,000ha project - which will be bigger than Pangkor Island and will take three decades to complete - had raised eyebrows across the causeway.

"We have asked the Malaysian authorities to provide more information so that we can undertake a study as soon as possible on the impacts of these reclamation work on Singapore and the Straits.

"They have agreed to do so and we hope to receive the information soon," he added.

The Star had reported that Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had written to his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak about the project.

This is in addition to two diplomatic notes which were sent to the Malaysian Foreign Ministry last month.

The first was a request for Malaysia to provide all relevant information, including an environment impact assessment report and the completion date for the project.

Subsequently, Singapore sought clarification after Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin assured the state assembly that the reclamation work would not affect the environment.

Singapore reportedly started voicing its concern after an article appeared in The Star in March on the project by China's Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd and Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor.

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