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 extremely sensitive to any effort to crowd the waterway dividing the two nations with a new development, and especially without any prior notification, issued a formal request for information. New information quickly emerged. According to local media reports, Country Garden had paid the sultan and the government $55 million and gained the right to purchase and construct the man-made island that would be big enough for a city of tall towers and 700,000 residents. Country Garden disputes the $55 million figure, which was cited by the Malaysian Insider, but “cannot divulge a specific breakdown, as it is bound by business confidentiality obligations,” said company spokesperson Eileen Ho, in an email. The state and the sultan of Johor hold a 34 percent stake in the project, with the latter controlling the bulk of that stake. Country Garden had been allowed to proceed without a detailed environmental impact assessment or any of... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Malaysia: Public protests force Chinese builder to live up to its eco-friendly tag, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Malaysia: Public protests force Chinese builder to live up to its eco-friendly tag





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Published By: ASIAN CORRESPONDENT - Monday, 10 September, 2018



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