Construction and reclamation for a luxury housing project, invested in by Chinesedeveloper Yang Guoqiang, to be built on a man-made island in the Johor Strait, hasreceived approval from Malaysia’s Department of the Environment, according towww.thepaper.cn

The project, called Forest City, has an estimated value of 250 billion yuan, or 58.3 billionUSD, and is slated to be completed in 2035.

The development lies in the Iskandar Development Region of Johor Bahru, Malaysia’ssecond largest city, separated by sea from Singapore. Covering an area of nearly 14 squarekilometers, almost half the size of Macau, it is planned to be a “city at sea,” consisting offour man-made islands.

In 2014, when the reclamation began, the project stirred controversy. Some residentsbelieved that the project would destroy the surrounding environment, while theSingaporean government conveyed its concern that the project lay too close to the borderbetween the two countries, only 2 kilometers from Singapore.

In January 2015, Country Garden Pacificview Sdn. Bhd. (CGPV), the developer of theForest City project, announced that its environmental impact assessment report hadgotten a nod from Malaysia.

Yang Guoqiang said City Forest is only 2 kilometers from Singapore — a distance that caneven be swum. Yang said, “Dubai built a city in the desert and we will build a Forest City inthe Iskandar Development Region, with a Singaporean lifestyle and the economics ofMalaysia.”

Local politicians have suggested that despite the project getting approval, itsimplementation is still cause for concern. Malaysia’s government may ignore theenvironmental costs due to excessive economic development.

By LIANG JUN Mar. 9, 2016 on People.cn

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