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Malaysia: Public protests force Chinese builder to live up to its eco-friendly tag

ON Jan. 1, 2014, fishermen near Kampong Pok, a village on Malaysia’s southern shore, were alarmed to find a fleet of barges and dredgers dumping sand on their fishing ground. Up until that moment, they’d heard nothing about land reclamation planned for their neighborhood. Over the next few months, they would begin to learn about the scope of the development scheme planned for this shallow expanse of shellfish beds and seagrass. Country Garden Pacificview, a unit of one of China’s largest real-estate developers, had quietly partnered with the Johor state government and Ibrahim Ismail, the sultan of Johor, to build a “21st century city” on a 19-square-kilometer (7.3-square-mile) man-made island in the Strait of Johor. Village leaders alerted media in Johor Bahru, the state capital. SEE ALSO: Saddled with debt, Malaysia nixes two China-backed mega projects They also contacted reporters in Singapore, located just across the narrow strait. Singapore, which is...

 

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