MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Saturday, October 29, 2022

End ‘white elephant’ reclamation projects, says green coalition


An anti-reclamation coalition says the 20 active projects in the country would end up as “white elephant” mega projects.

PETALING JAYA: A coalition of 32 environmental societies and fisherfolk has called for a halt to reclamation and artificial island projects, which they said could become “white elephant mega projects”.

The coalition, Gerakan Malaysia Tolak Tambak, said 20 large-scale projects for reclamation and the creation of artificial islands, either being proposed or which are stalled, including those for sand mining, had brought about irreversible negative impact on the environment at the height of climate change.

“These projects privatise common fishing areas to real estate developers and speculators for the interest of certain parties. They deny the rights of fisherfolk to earn a living. Those living in the coastal areas could be forced out of their communities,” the group said in a statement today.

“Apart from negative impacts on fisherfolk, all these projects appeared to be not very transparent in terms of cost and public benefit.”

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The group made several other demands, including recognition of coastal communities and their heritage, and for quick conservation of marine ecosystems to protect food security.

The group had a conference in Penang today, attended by more than 60 representatives of environmental societies and groups representing fisherfolk, including the National Fishermen’s Association.

The group’s chief Hamid Bahari hoped the incoming federal government would take heed of this issue faced by fisherfolk, as reclamation threatened their livelihoods. - FMT

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