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Lulus senyap-senyap lagi, Kerajaan Malaysia?

July 15, 2012
Deal with Taiwan’s ‘reject project’ quietly inked
6:10PM Jul 14, 2012
Despite strong protest from local residents and netizens, the Johor state government has quietly sealed an agreement early last week with Taiwan’s CPC Corp to build a RM35 billion petrochemical complex in Pengerang, Johor.Quoting anonymous financial executives close to the deal, The Edge today reported that CPC’s 43 percent unit, Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co, will be taking the lead in the complex construction.

johor pegerang anti petro-chemical project protest 260512 03“It isn’t clear why the signing of such large contract didn’t attract much fanfare, particularly at a time when the government wants to show that Malaysia remains an attractive destination for foreign direct investment,” read the report.

It further quoted one executive familiar with the deal as saying: “A letter of undertaking was signed early last week between the state and Kuokuang… (however) the formal announcement (of the signing) has to come from the Taiwan government, not from Johor”.

The proposed CPC venture is part of Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project in Pengerang, bringing the total investment to RM120 billion over the next five to six years.

Rapid, part of the Economic Transformation Programme, aims to transform southern Johor into a refining and petrochemical centre, complementing the existing facilities on the east coast of the peninsula and in Singapore.

According to The Edge, the project, in its early stages, consists of a refinery with a 150,000-barrel-a-day capacity and a naphtha cracker with an 800,000-tonne annual capacity.

The project was initially planned for the Dacheng Wetlands in Taiwan’s Changhua County.

It was rejected by Taiwan President Ma Ying-Jeou last April, after local residents and environmental impact assessment teams raised concerns that the complex would consume too much water and generate high levels of pollution in the ecologically sensitive area, which is also the habitat of the critically endangered Taiwan pink dolphins.

Public outrage over planned project

News that the project will be relocated to Pengerang has sparked a round of public protest in May.

johor pegerang anti petro-chemical project protest 260512 02Netizens started an online campaign to petition to Ma through a virtual letter box on his official website which later replied that their complaints will be followed up by Executive Yuan – the executive branch of Taiwan government.

Last month, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed told Parliament that his ministry has not received a formal application from Kuokuang to invest in Malaysia.

He said that the decision would be made by its board of directors and not the Taiwan government even though it has a 43 percent equity in it through the CPC Corporation.

Kuokuang’s other shareholders include Ho Tung Chemical Corp, Oriental Union Chemical and China Man-Made Fiber Corp.

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