SAM objects to siting of proposed smelting and Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) plants in Tg. Hantu, Perak


Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) reiterates its objection to the siting of two proposed projects i.e. an iron and steel mill covering 202.35 hectares and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply plant covering 60 hectares in Tanjung Hantu, Manjung District, Perak.

Both the proposed projects have been identified having potential adverse effects and would directly impact the natural environment and coastal area here.

SAM is also dissatisfied with the Menteri Besar and the State Government of Perak for not providing feedback to our letters dated 14 September 2009 and 16 November 2011 regarding the matter. We only received an acknowledgement stating that the letter has been forwarded to the relevant authorities for follow-up action.

It is disappointing that the State Government does not take into account the comments of several members of the public who joined three public hearing sessions i.e. publicity and public objection of the Draft Structure Plan for Perak 2001-2020, Draft Local Plan for Manjung District 2002-2015, Draft Local Plan (Revision) for Manjung District 2020 and one workshop session during the preparation of the Draft Local Plan for Manjung District 2010-2020.

According to the Manjung District Local Plan 2002 – 2015, the location of the proposed projects is zoned as Pasir Panjang – Teluk Senangin Tourism Development Zone as it is an attractive natural environment with undisturbed beaches, coastal hill forest, heath forest and sea turtle nesting area.

Hence the area surrounding Tanjung Hantu can be categorized as Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) Rank 1 (no development, agriculture or logging permitted except for low-impact nature tourism, research and education) and ESA Rank 2 (No development or agriculture. Low impact nature tourism may be permitted subject to local constraints).

As the area is a known turtle landing site and thus categorized as ESA Rank 1, the proposed location of the two projects clearly contradicts the National Physical Plan (NPP). The State Structure Plan and Local Plan should also conform to the NPP.

SAM’s objection is not only because of concerns over the impact on the natural environment and for public interest.  We are also concerned of the potential impacts to the fisheries sector, especially coastal fisheries.

The proposed project sites have more potential to be conserved for research and education on biological diversity, as well as nature tourism in line with the Vision, Objectives and Strategy of District Development, Manjung Local Plan 2002 – 2015.

SAM hopes that the State Government takes into serious consideration the importance and value of the natural surroundings and thus rejects the siting of the two proposed projects here.

Press Statement, 11 July 2012