The RM200 billion port project at Carey Island cannot proceed without approval from the Selangor government, said Menteri Besar Azmin Ali.
“Any (such) proposal must first be referred to the state government as approvals at the local council and District Office level should be taken into consideration.
“(The process of) negotiations (with state authorities) must be carried out before any form of development can be carried out,” said Azmin as quoted by the state’s new portal Selangor Kini.
Azmin said this in response to news reports quoting Port Klang Authority chairperson Kong Cho Ha stating that China has expressed interests in developing Carey Island as a port-cum-industrial city.
Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai had since late last year also said the federal government has invited China to jointly develop the Carey Island deep sea port, which is expected to span 100 square kilometres, to service Chinese ships.
At present, Carey Island is largely inhabited by the Mah Meri tribe, one of 18 indigenous groups in Peninsular Malaysia.
Malaysiakini yesterday highlighted concerns from local Mah Meri leaders who said they were in the dark about the proposed project.
They were met during their annual Hari Moyang celebrations and cited fears over what the project could mean for their future generations.
Azmin also said that the state-government has been notified of the proposal through an initial report from its Economic Planning Unit (UPEN).
Among others, Azmin said the state government was informed that the proposed project would be constructed on land owned by Sime Darby.
“The project proposal is not from the state government but instead comes from the federal government,” he added.
According to reports, the proposed port project is designed to eventually handle an annual 30 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) of container cargo, slightly over double Port Klang’s current maximum capacity.