Johor to impose $0.12 payment for every sq ft of sea reclamation: Mentri Besar

The strip of land, where reclamation works are ongoing, off the shores of Johor on 25 June 2014. Johor will impose a payment of 30 sen (S$0.12) for every sq ft on developers involved in sea reclamation works in the state to assist fishermen whos
The strip of land, where reclamation works are ongoing, off the shores of Johor on 25 June 2014. Johor will impose a payment of 30 sen (S$0.12) for every sq ft on developers involved in sea reclamation works in the state to assist fishermen whose livelihoods have been affected by the projects. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Johor will impose a payment of 30 sen (S$0.12) for every sq ft on developers involved in sea reclamation works in the state with immediate effect.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the approach, to be enforced immediately, aimed at creating a special aid to assist fishermen whose livelihood was affected by the reclamation works.

"With a total acreage of 3,237.48 hectares in reclamation activities in and around Iskandar Malaysia, a total of RM104 million is expected to be received.

"The state government has directed the Land Office to issue letters to developers and it will take effect immediately.

"The payment system made will be retrospective, including for projects that are already undertaken," he told a news conference after chairing the Johor Umno Liasion Body meeting on Sunday, Bernama reported.

However, he said the actual number of aid to be channelled to the fishermen would be decided and announced during the budget presentation this November.

Mohamed Khaled said the state government was aware and took seriously the issue of the fishermen whose livelihood was affected by the sea reclamation works in several areas in the Iskandar Malaysia development region.

He said Johor also set up an international zone as a centralised area for foreigners interested to reside in the state.

The international zone enables the state government to limit property purchase by foreigners outside the zone that could not be fully controlled previously.

With the existence of the zone, the difference in the rate of taxes will be collected by the local authorities to be used to develop areas outside Johor Baru district.