The Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Khaled Nordin should lead a study tour of all 56 Johor State Assembly members to the new island, Pulau Ubah, which sprung up off Tanjong Kupang, Gelang Patah in the past two weeks and to understand the serious threat to the eco-system caused by mysterious massive land reclamation works.
Yesterday, accompanied by the DAP Johor State Assemblyman for Pengkalan Rinting, Cheo Yee How, and Pakatan Rakyat leaders from PAS and PKR, I discovered and visited a new island off Kampung Pendas (some ten minutes of speedboat trip) which is growing every day and will eventually be some 10 or 20 times bigger than its present size when the creation of the island is fully completed.
This is a man-made island and is not to be found in any of the maps in the country, and I believe even Khaled is not aware of the new island’s existence.
The island was named Pulau Uban during our visit.
The new island is the result of a major scandal of transparency, accountability and good governance in Johor State, as it is the result of a mysterious massive land-reclamation project in the past month, which had destroyed the livelihood of 250 fishermen from six Malay kampongs, caused million-ringgit losses because of the death of 10 tonnes of fish and millions of fish fries in 10 fish farms in the past 10 days; and seriously damaged the eco-system off the coast of Gelang Patah constituency.
The greatest mystery and scandal is nobody in government could throw light on the massive land reclamation project off the coast of Tanjong Kupang, raising serious questions about the efficiency and performance of the Khaled state government.
What mega projects are being undertaken to justify the mysterious massive land-reclamation projects, had an Environment Impact Assessment (EiA) been done and will the 250 fishermen (with dependents exceed a thousand people), the operators of the fish farms and the Malay villagers of the six traditional Malay kampongs which will be adversely affected by the land reclamation, be paid compensation, and what is the quantum of the compensation.
Why had the fishermen, villagers and fish farm operators not been consulted and their views sought before the mysterious massive land-reclamation works started?
The relevant departments should use these two days to brief the victims of the mysterious massive land reclamation projects what is really going on, and until this is done, Khaled should order an immediate stop work on all land reclamation works.
If no satisfactory explanation is forthcoming from the various government departments and agencies in the next two days, the victims of the mysterious massive land reclamation works destroying the eco-system and their livelihoods should go to the Johor State Assembly which is meeting on Thursday, Feb. 20 to demand a full and proper explanation from the Mentri Besar.
(Media Conference Statement in Batu Pahat on Sunday 16th February 2014)