Johor chief minister: Singapore has also done massive land reclamation

PASIR GUDANG - The Johor government says that the development of projects on reclaimed land is "not something new" as it has been done in other countries such as Singapore and Holland.

"Look at Singapore. They have also done massive land reclamation," Mentri Be­­sar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin said.

Referring to the multi-billion ringgit Forest City project, which will see reclamation of a huge part of Straits of Johor to create four man-made islands, he said the public should not be affected by negative views on the environmental impact.

The project would now proceed as it had received approval from the Department of Envi­ronment (DOE) on Jan 9, he said after atten­ding the SMK Pasir Gudang Parent-Tea­chers Association meeting and presenting aid to students yesterday.

Mohamed Khaled said that all projects on reclaimed land in Johor had to meet stringent requirements and receive en­­vi­ronmental impact assessment approval from the DOE.

Mohamed Khaled said the state government would ensure that the welfare of fishermen affected by the land reclamation in south Johor would be taken care of under the Fishermen's Fund.

Under a state ruling introduced last year, property developers involved in land reclamation within Iskandar Malaysia have to contribute to the fund.

It was reported that about 3,237.48ha of land would be reclaimed within the country's first economic growth corridor under its Comprehensive Deve­lopment Plan from 2006 to 2025.

The Forest City Project, which was initially suspended for six months, was finally green-lighted by the DOE to resume.

However, its size was scaled down from about 1,978ha to 1,368ha.