Malaysia: Johor doing all it can to resolve Rapid woes, says MB

Zazali Musa The Star 4 Aug 13;

PASIR GUDANG: Johor is doing all it can to solve the problems surrounding the multi-billion-ringgit integrated petrochemical complex in Pengerang, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

He said the state government was aware that the project would be delayed due to several outstanding issues.

Among the major causes of the delay were land acquisition, relocation of villagers and objections by residents affected by the project, he said.

Mohamed Khaled said some of the residents who were not satisfied with the land compensation had brought the matter to court and this had further delayed the project.

Speaking to reporters after presenting Hari Raya goodies and duit raya to 144 pupils from seven primary school in the district, he said the state government was aware that Petronas had voiced its concerns about problems besetting the RM60bil Rapid project in Johor’s east coast area.

Petronas had said that the project would be operational by the last quarter of 2017 or early 2018 instead of 2016 as targeted previously.

The national petroleum company cited problems in securing water supply and the state government’s predicament in relocating villages and graves from the 2,000ha site as the causes of the delay.

“We fully understand the problems faced by Petronas but we also have to look at the well-being of the residents affected by the project,” Mohamed Khaled said.

He said the state government had held several meetings with officials from Petronas and had promised to do its best to solve the problem within the time-frame.

“Under the new administration, all new projects must take into account the welfare of the rakyat and at the same time we will continue to remain investor-friendly,” said Mohamed Khaled.

The Rapid project, located at Johor’s south-east area of Pengerang in the Kota Tinggi district, is expected to turn the state into a new regional oil and gas hub.