Poser over approvals given for Melaka Gateway project

Noel Achariam

Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong wants to know if the Melaka Gateway project has obtained all the required approvals for development to proceed. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 17, 2023.

KOTA Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong has questioned if the Melaka Gateway project has obtained all required approvals, including an environment impact assessment (EIA) report, for development to proceed.

He said the developer’s statement that they are going to revive the project was vague as there was no mention of an EIA report. 

“They (developer) said in general that they got the approvals. 

“What we want to know is what approvals were given to them? Specifically whether they are going to resume work with an EIA,” he told The Malaysian Insight. 

On Monday, developer KAJ Development Sdn Bhd (KAJD) announced the RM43 billion project was being revived with the support of the federal and Malacca governments. 

KAJD executive chairman Daing A. Malek Daing A. Rahaman said the project would resume with the construction of the Melaka International Cruise Terminal with exclusive operating rights from the Malacca government. 

Daing said the international terminal would be able to accommodate the arrival of cruise ships and was expected to bring about 3.5 million tourists to Melaka Gateway every year.

Khoo said the Department of Environment also has to answer if the EIA report was approved for this project. 

He said last year in parliament he had asked former environment and water minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man for the report, and his reply was that KAJD had yet to submit its EIA report.   

“We have yet to hear of any EIA report for the project. They must have a current report.

“This is a serious matter if they are going to start development,” said the DAP lawmaker.

He added that the locals were not against development, but it must not affect or cause problems for the community at the project site.

Yesterday, Save Our Seashores Malacca (SOS) said it would discuss legal action against the developer with Khoo later this week.

“We are not ruling out taking legal action against the developer for not producing an EIA, as well as the Malacca government for allowing the project.

“We will seek advice and look into engaging an environmental lawyer on this issue,” SOS chairman Martin Theseira told The Malaysian Insight.

Theseira said the project posed adverse environmental effects on the Portuguese settlement, whose residents are mainly fishermen.

He said at least 1,200 families, including that of 150 fishermen, were affected by the project.

The environment group also questioned the validity of the mega project that is to be revived, and asked if there was an EIA done and approved by the state government.

Theseira said it would be illegal for the project to proceed without a valid EIA.

“We have been seeking dialogue for the longest time with the state government and developer, but to no avail,” he said. – September 17, 2023.

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