Singapore expresses concern over reclamation works for Johor man-made island near border

A view of the Second Link at Tuas from the Singapore side. The man-made island will reportedly take 30 years to complete. Called Forest City, the development is sited within the Malaysian side of the Johor marine border. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
A view of the Second Link at Tuas from the Singapore side. The man-made island will reportedly take 30 years to complete. Called Forest City, the development is sited within the Malaysian side of the Johor marine border. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

SINGAPORE today publicly responded for the first time to media reports about massive reclamation works to build a man-made island in the Strait of Johor, below the Second Link on the Johor side of the border off Tuas.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement that Singapore has asked Malaysia to provide more information on the project and that Putrajaya has agreed to do so.

"Given Johor's close proximity to Singapore, we are naturally concerned about any possible transboundary impact on Singapore from property development projects that involve reclamation works in the Straits of Johor," the ministry said, in response to queries from the media.

"There are also international obligations for both Malaysia and Singapore authorities to work closely on such matters."

Malaysia's The Star newspaper said today that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had written to Malaysian Premier Najib Razak about the project.

The paper said this was a follow-up to two other notes from Singapore on the matter that were sent to Malaysia's Foreign Ministry last month.

The MFA in its statement today said: "We have asked the Malaysian authorities to provide more information so that we can undertake a study as soon as possible on the impacts of these reclamation works on Singapore and the Straits.

"They have agreed to do so and we hope to receive the information soon."

Chinese property developer Country Garden Holdings and a Johor government company, Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor, are planning the project called Forest City that will offer luxury homes on the new island, The Star newspaper reported on Monday.

The island with a total of 2,000ha - nearly three times the size of Ang Mo Kio estate - will take 30 years to complete, Country Garden's regional president for the Malaysian project, Mr Kayson Yuen, told The Star.

A project map published by The Star on Saturday appeared to show part of the man-made island under the Second Link.

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