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    Jan 07, 2015

    Johor project's size not cut, says developer


    THE developer of Malaysia's controversial Forest City in the Strait of Johor has denied reports that the 1,600ha reclamation project has been shrunk to a quarter of its size following directives by the Department of Environment (DOE).

    Country Garden Pacific View's (CGP's) executive director, Md. Othman, said in a statement on Monday that limiting the project's size was never discussed with the DOE.

    "In the most recent discussions, in late December last year, DOE and CGP discussed assessment directives and compliance to high standards. These discussions do not mean that the project size is to be limited or compromised in any way," Mr Othman said in the statement which was issued after a report by The Malaysian Insider said the project will be limited to 405ha.

    Quoting unnamed sources, the Insider reported that the new limit was verbally conveyed to the developer, following issues raised by locals as well as the Singapore government over the environmental impact of the project. It was to issue an official decision to CGP next week.

    "CGP is in constant communication with multiple stakeholders and the regulatory authorities, ensuring that the project development always takes into consideration the needs of the communities and the environment. The DOE is one such regulatory authority that we engage (with) and consult to ensure full compliance," Mr Othman said in the statement.

    The firm said it would release the details of the projects when its "metrics, monitoring and assessment initiatives" had been finalised.

    Forest City was originally conceived as a man-made island with a title deed amounting to 2,000ha, about four times the size of Sentosa. Its split into four man-made islands reduced the total land size, which has reportedly been cut again by the DOE.

    The DOE made its decision after Singapore presented videos and documentary proof of continued reclamation works for the ambitious China-Malaysia joint venture.

    The project involves massive reclamation in the narrow waterway between Singapore and Malaysia off Tuas where luxury homes would be on offer.