The ‘Phantoms of Pengerang’ already started their hauntings. It was said that four persons obtained a court injunction from Johor Bahru High Court yesterday to stop the RAPID project.
Four gentlemen namely Chong Chun Yet, Hong Thian Hwa, Chong Ah Sin and Lim Kui Hak ages between 27 and 53 years old named Johor State Government, Kota Tinggi Land Adminstrator and Johor State Economic Planning Unit as defendants in a summon to stop the RAPID project. Their complain is about the relocation of Chinese cemeteries in five kampungs all over Pengerang, which is part of Kota Tinggi district.
This is a precursor of ‘throwing spanner to works’ pertaining to the land acquisition exercise in Pengerang, which is scheduled to roll from 3 September. Any action taken by the Johor State Government against this court injunction which include to rectify the summon is expected to be made into a political issue, particularly by Chinese Chauvinist party DAP.
This is not the first time cemeteries were affected and had to be relocated. There is a beautiful Chinese cemetery created in the middle of Kluang town, as a result of grave relocation exercise. So was in Medini, near Kota Iskandar. However, this is the first time it is being opposed so close to a general elections.
The relocation of 8 kampungs around Pengerang for the RAPID project involves also 4 schools. Johor State Government already allocated a parcel of 2,000 acres for each families affected as part of the compensation scheme. This is on top of the acquisition of the residents’ land parcels, which undergone stringent valuation processs as per provided by the National land Code. A 6,000 sq ft plot for a replacement home is allocated for each family and what ever the value of their home being acquired under the exercise, would be off set for the construction of the new modern home. Johor State Government will also provide the necessary infrastructure for the new township.
Johor State Government via State Economic Planning Unit considered all the affected Pengerang residents’ plight before coming up with a comprehensive master plan for the relocation exercise. The delay with all of these hauntings would set the development of RAPID back. Petronas is expected to begin operation from 2017, where there are actively discussing with 20 different corporations which will bring the right value for RAPIID’s downstream derivative activities and commercialization programs.
32% of Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak’s economic transformation plan (ETP) announced is centered around RAPID and Pengerang. Failure to develop all these planned projects would simply set the ETP program backwards. The plan for a higher value economy and a working population with higher income would definitely be impaired. Part of the realization of a developed nation status ‘Vision 2020’ would also be affected.
The real issue is now about these Ghosts versus Johor State Government. The mandate for Johor State Government is representation of the majority’s aspiration. The majority wants progress. Even HRH Sultan of Johor reminded Pengerang folks, “Not to reject progress and make riddiculous demands“. They are just minority imposing themselves against the will of the majority.
Maybe these instigators aka ‘Phantoms of Pengerang’ need to be exorcised, first.