KUALA LUMPUR: Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd, the developer of Forest City in Johor, said yesterday that its discussions with the Department of Environment (DoE) did not mean that the size of the controversial property development project is being limited or compromised.
It was responding to a report in The Malaysian Insider that the DoE had decided to limit the development of the Forest City project to less than 1,000 acres (405ha). (See story below.)
The development of the Forest City project involves the construction of a 1,600ha man-made island near the Singapore sea border and Malaysia’s Port of Tanjung Pelepas.
“In the most recent discussions, in late December 2014, the DoE and Country Garden Pacificview 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,” Country Garden Pacificview executive director Datuk Md Othman Yusof said in a press statement yesterday.
Md Othman also reiterated that Country Garden Pacificview had ceased all construction works at the development site since June 16 last year.
“Any modification or change to the land mass is not due to construction, but due to natural displacement,” he said, refuting the report which said reclamation works continued despite claims by the developers that they had voluntarily stopped on June 15, 2014.
“We voluntarily chose to cease construction because the DoE requested a [detailed] environmental impact assessment to accompany the project’s viability assessment and state-garnered approvals,” he said.
Md Othman also said that the company will host an online platform to openly receive queries for 48 hours this Friday, and committed that “no question or post will be deleted”.
Country Garden Pacificview is a joint-venture unit between Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd and Country Gardens Holdings Co Ltd, China’s seventh largest property developer with a market capitalisation of HK$68.79 billion (RM31.45 billion) as at yesterday.
Esplanade Danga 88 is a company owned by the Sultan of Johor and Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor Sdn Bhd.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 6, 2015.