26 groups call for cancellation of deep-sea port project in Melaka.

PETALING JAYA: Twenty-six civil society organisations have called for a proposed deep-sea port construction project in Melaka to be cancelled, on grounds that it is located in a sensitive area.

They said the 481ha reclamation project involved an environmentally sensitive area where a main fishing zone, a gazetted marine park and mangroves are located.

“The project is among the largest in Malaysia and would inevitably destroy the natural environment along Melaka’s coast,” they said in a joint statement today.

“Additionally, the reclamation project is part of the bigger Melaka Waterfront Economic Zone (MWEZ) plan that seeks to reclaim 25,000 acres (10,117ha) of land across 33km of the entire Melaka coastline.”

The group includes the Malaysian Nature Society, Gabungan Selamatkan Pesisir Pantai Melaka, Malacca Portuguese-Eurasian Association, Association for the Protection of Natural Heritage of Malaysia (Peka) and Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM).

It said past experience has shown that reclamation projects were unsustainable despite being promoted in the name of “development”.

“For example, the Melaka Gateway project that was launched in 2014 had promised to bring in RM43 billion in investments and create 15,000 jobs.

“However, today, the project has largely been abandoned while leaving major pollution in the vicinity,” it said.

The Melaka Gateway mixed development was supposed to be on four artificial islands with residential, commercial, cultural, entertainment and lifestyle elements. It was envisioned to have the largest private marina in Southeast Asia by 2025.

The group also pointed out that Melaka already have two existing ports – Tanjung Bruas Port and Kuala Linggi International Port.

“On the other hand, there are also other major ports along the Melaka Straits, such as Port Klang and Singapore Port,” it said.

FMT has reached out to executive councillor Ab Rauf Yusoh for comment.

The MWEZ project is to be built on reclaimed land, stretching from Umbai to Tanjung Bruas.

In 2021, Tanjung Kling residents pushed Putrajaya to intervene and prevent MWEZ from proceeding, with an online petition garnering more than 20,000 signatures.

 

By FMT Reporters. 1 February 2023.
Source: Free Malaysia Today. https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2023/02/01/26-groups-call-for-cancellation-of-deep-sea-port-project-in-melaka/.  5 February 2023.

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