Taiwan's new President in a recent widely publicised move took the side of the people & protestors in refusing to licence Kuo Kuang's Corporation's proposed new Naptha Cracking plant & its parent company China Petroleum Corp's continued operation of its 52 years old refinery in Kaoshiung.
What is less well known is that Everwish Sdn Bhd applied on its & 2 other foreign companies behalf to set up a Refinery & Petrochemical Integrated Complex at Pulau Indah to the Selangor PR State Govt.After due consideration by the State Govt the application was rejected. It would have increased significantly the amount of FDI the State would have received as the investment value was RM10b & would provide its residents 2600 new jobs & 20,000 indirect employment opportunities.Everwish claimed that the project had a potential to earn foreign exchange reserves of RM13b  per year.

 The State Govt under its MB Tan Sri Khalid rejected the proposal in Feb 2011 & in doing so took the same view & position as did the Govt of Taiwan.The reasons for the decision amongst others were:
1)     It would cause SEVERE & ADVERSE ECOLOGICAL & ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT & jeopardise the regulated coastal buffer zone & mangroves.
3)    the processing of imported crude oil for export will NOT BE A HIGH VALUE ADDED INDUSTRY nor contribute to our TECHNOLOGY but instead pose high risks to the public.
5)   the 52 years old refinery in Taiwan would be dismantled and reerected in Pulau Indah.

In short there were highly cogent reasons to classify the proposal as a NON SUSTAINABLE ONE.
The 2 foreign companies then quickly approached Petronas under the PM & also Ghani Othman MB Johor both of whom promptly accepted the proposals heralding the Rapid as a RM60b project to be
sited in Pengerang,Johor. To show how grateful both were a 10 years tax holiday was granted for the project.
It has now turned out that the 2 foreign companies are China Petroleum Corporation (CPC) in respect of the refinery project & its subsidiary Kuo Kuang Corp for the petrochemical project.We hold no grudge against them or Everwish as they had every right to make a proposal but the public's grievance is against the Federal & Johor State Govts for accepting a Non Sustainable Development project.To add to the displeasure of Malaysians CPC  had announced they would not build new oil refineries or Petrochemical plants in Taiwan. In short Johor was chosen as a dumping ground.

Has the federal Govt under Najib & the Johor State Govt become so beggared that they would accept what both the Taiwan & Selangor Govts have rejected?
Rapid will bring great misery & anxiety to the peoples of Pengerang when they are forcibly relocated some 20 kms away in a kampong ironically named after Ghani Othman.The land where they have
dwelt for generations will now be compulsorily acquired.


It is noteworthy that the consortium that proposed to operate in Pulau Indah made a reasonable request for  2,889 acres.They did not require the Selangor Govt to use the Land Acquisition Act 1960
to forcibly acquire the needed acreage but instead they would buy the lands from their owners on a willing buyer willing seller basis.
Ghani othman had other plans & on the pretext of development for Rapid he proceeded to compulsorily acquire a huge acreage under the Land Acquisition Act 1960. The 22,500 acres was far
in excess of the 2,889 acres initially required. This based upon previous large scale acquisitions in Johor would provide his Govt with a huge land bank which can be divested to favored companies for
development.This would cause the land to be valued after conversion to development land to be increased by a thousand percent or more.Buy cheap & enrich favoured cronies.l


Why indeed the haste on the part of Najib & Ghani to acquire the lands & force an unacceptable project on the poor folks of Pengerang.Why could they both not wait until after the General Elections so as to give an option to the new Govt whether to proceed or not? We believe the reasons would be obvious to those who know the facts. Its profits before  people.

For those whose lands have been gazetted for acquisition the value would be based on present land use ie mainly agriculture & fixed at 2 years before the gazette of intention to acquire.

The whole 22500 acres will not be acquired at the same time but through many phases.This benefits the State Govt as they have the luxury of timing whilst the lands' value remain frozen in time. They
can sell at higher prices as and when the market benefits the crony companies.The preent landowners and houseowners are the ones who will suffer. The 1st phase involves 292 landowners and their families together with those 500 families who have built houses on the landowners' lands constituting several thousand residents will be evicted soon without alternative accomodation for them. So far owners of houses built on others' lands have not been told whether they will be compensated. WHen the residents ask where they would stay the answer by The Land Office officers is ' Go stay in a hotel or rent a house'.
Rapid will wipe out 17 kampongs whose residents are mostly Malays.The 180 year old Pekan Pengerang a Chinese town will suffer the same fate. The triple jeopardies dealt to the Pengerangites
will be loss of livelihood, lands and a highly polluted environment.


The environmental disaster upon Pengerang & the surrounding region can best be described by environmentalists but suffice it to say here that reseach in USA,Canada and Taiwan &
elsewhere have indicated that the toxic gases emitted by a project like Rapid including sulphur dioxide,hydrogen oxide & carbon monoxide and waste water will contribute to the green house effect,to acid rain which would destroy crops and palm oil & rubbertrees, the destruction
of sea life & the angry lobsters.There will be increases in human cancers,asthmas, other respiratory illnesses & endocrinal diseases. The Department of Environment I heard had rejected the EIA report just before the start of the recent Puasa month but this decision was quickly reversed &  the EIA as well as the detailed EIA were approved for Rapid.Can The PM tell us whether there was political pressure put on the Department?
The PR have been supporting the protestors in Pengerang & I announced at the Himpunan Hijau's recent protest that when Dato Sri Anwar becomes the Prime Minister he would stop Rapid's Refinery & Integrated Petrochemical Complex and review completely environmental social and economic impact of the project. The consortium is well advised to consider this new scenario before embarking on an increasingly controversial & therefor risky investment.
There was Bkt Merah,Bkt Koman & Lynas, Now there is Rapid.All these the legacy of the Umno BN Govt left for the peoples of Malaysia!
Press Statement of Dato Chua Jui Meng, Vice President PKR. 4th Oct 2012