Malaysia Land reclamation: Adhere to environmental guidelines, Wan Junaidi tells Malacca

ARNAZ M. KHAIRUL New Straits Times 21 Jan 17;

MALACCA: The Malacca government has been warned by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to ensure all coastal development works adhere to its guidelines, particularly the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Order 2015.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar yesterday urged the state government to study the impact of rapid reclamation along the Klebang coast to ensure no adverse impact on the environment and livelihood of those dependent on marine life.

In reaction to escalating issues surrounding reclamation and coastal development in Klebang here, Wan Junaidi reminded the state government of the implementation of the EIA Order.

“The ministry, through the Department of Environment (DOE), is responsible for the EIA and Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) reports, but we do not object to the state’s development.”

He said every project must adhere to regulations, particularly the Quality of Environment Order 2015 and EIA Order 2015.

“Reclamation in Klebang began in 2012 and it is guided by the EIA Macro Study, which was reviewed by the DOE to form guidelines in planning for reclamation projects in Malacca,” said Wan Junaidi.

Issues and public concern over allegedly excessive reclamation along the Klebang coast, have triggered alarm bells in recent weeks, with fishermen complaining about illegal sand mining alongside reclaimed areas.

Public concern has also been highlighted by the poor level of dialogue, especially over the sale of commercial land on reclaimed plots, raising questions whether such projects were done to enable land sales.

Wan Junaidi said reclamation in Malacca was conducted by companies that had been given concessions by the state government prior to the enforcement of the EIA Order 2015 and were guided by the DOE’s EIA Macro review 1999.

Reclamation of areas not more than 50ha were not subjected to the EIA Order, prior to amendments made in 2015.

“The amendments were made in 2015 in view of the rapid development of the coast, thus, it means that reclamation of areas not more than 50ha are required to provide a Schedule 1 EIA report,” said Wan Junaidi.

Reclamation of more than 50ha, he said, required a Schedule 2 EIA report, which compelled public exhibit and dialogue for the purpose of approval by the DOE director-general.

Wan Junaidi said the proposed EIA and DEIA dual system would require compulsory extensive procedures for all development projects in the country.

The proposal for the new system is to be tabled before the cabinet, Federal Land and the National Physical Development Councils before being implemented.

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