Malaysia, Johor: 100 police reports over relocation of graves for Rapid project

Desiree Tresa Gasper and Yee Xiang Yun The Star 17 Aug 12;

JOHOR BARU: Police have received more than 100 reports from Pengerang residents, fishermen and contractors relating to the relocation of graves in line with the Petronas refinery and petrochemical integrated development (Rapid) project there.

Kota Tinggi OCPD Supt Che Mahazan Che Aik said that police were still investigating the reports lodged.

“The most recent report is from a resident who claimed that the grave of his ancestor was removed and dumped in a disrespectful manner by the persons in charge of the relocation works,” he said.

He added that the investigation papers had been forwarded to the Public Prosecutor's office for further action and had been classified under Section 297 of the Penal Code for treating remains with indignity.

“Other than dissatisfaction on the relocation of graves, we also received reports of residents who are unhappy about land compensation issues and environmental pollution due to the Rapid project,” he said.

He added that most of the issues had been ironed out but there was still a small group of unhappy residents.

Meanwhile, a group of discontented residents are planning to gather at the graveyard in Telok Empang, Pengerang on Saturday (Aug 18) to show their dissatisfaction with the grave relocation plans.

The group will converge at the graveyard at 9am and will stay overnight while performing prayers and cleaning the graves.

The event coordinator Hong Thian Hwa said that the programme would coincide with the Hungry Ghost Festival. It was previously reported that some 11,000 Muslim graves had already been relocated to make way for the RM60bil Rapid project while the authorities are planning to move some 3,000 Chinese graves and 1,000 Muslim graves soon.

Johor MB clarifies issue on grave relocation
The Star 20 Aug 12;

JOHOR BARU: The Johor mentri besar has clarified there has been no relocation of Muslim graves to make way for the construction of the RM60bil Refinery and Petrochemical Intergrated Complex (Rapid) project in Pengerang.

In a statement issued here on Monday, Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman also clarified that the state government was working closely with the Chinese associations to find an amicable solution to the relocation of Chinese cemeteries.

"There has been no relocation of Muslim graves. As for Chinese cemeteries, the state government is working closely with Chinese associations to find an amicable solution to the relocation of the graves," he said.

He was responding to media reports on the Rapid project and the relocation of Chinese graves by Johor MCA deputy chairman Datuk Hoo Seong Chang on Sunday.

Hoo, when met by reporters, said the Johor MCA would meet family members linked to the 3,000 Chinese graves, which would be affected by the relocation.

Abdul Ghani also clarified Sunday's news reports that stated that 100-odd police reports had been received by the Kota Tinggi police from Pengerang residents on the issue of the grave relocation.

According to him, the police reports were not exclusively on the grave issue, but also included cumulative reports covering other matters, pertaining to the Pengerang oil and gas developments. - Bernama

Rapid: Muslim Graves To Be Relocated
Bernama 21 Aug 12;

JOHOR BAHARU, Aug 21 (Bernama) -- Muslim graves would be relocated to make way for the construction of the RM60 billion Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Complex (Rapid) project in Pengerang.

A statement issued by the office of Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman here today, said the new site of the graves has been identified.

"Although the new site has been identified, the relocation has not commenced and we're still in discussions with the local Muslim community," it added.

The Rapid project by national oil and gas corporation, Petronas, is part of the government's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

It is expected to draw a follow up investment of RM100 billion into the country's oil and gas industry.

Today's statement was to clarify the one issued by the Menteri Besar's office yesterday.