PETALING JAYA: The Department of Environment (DoE) has issued an immediate stop-work order for the RM1.2 billion Aman Laut mixed-development project in Kuala Kedah over environmental concerns.
According to director-general Dr Ahmad Kamarulnajib Che Ibrahim, whose department issued the order on May 15, the project had yet to obtain approval from the DoE.
“This (work-stop order) is in accordance with the Section 34AA (2) of the Malaysian Quality Environmental Act 1974 (Amended) 2012 that no work can be carried out prior to getting the approval of the department.
“Only after it has been approved can work be carried out,” he said in a report by The Star.
The Aman Laut project looks to transform the current fishing town by building high-end bungalows, condominiums, malls and luxury eateries.
According to its website, it will comprise an entirely new township on the coast of Kuala Kedah and allow residents to enjoy resort-like living while transforming the state’s property market.
NGOs and local fishermen had previously voiced concern that the project breached environmental regulations and would threaten the livelihood of fishermen there.
Last month, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) issued a statement asking why work had begun since the project had not been approved by the DoE.
A SAM survey also showed that an area about 1km out to sea had already been reclaimed, with nearly 10ha of mangroves along the coast affected, The Star said.
However, Kedah Environment Committee chairman Dr Leong Yong Long said that work had already been approved by the local authorities.
He told the daily that the state government did not object to the work-stop order, which would give the developer time to provide a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on the project.