Johor crown prince says state in the dark over ship hub project

Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim also says the menteri besar is also not aware of the project. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Johor’s vocal crown prince has accused Putrajaya of trying to usurp state powers in the construction of a ship cargo facility, hours after Dr Mahathir Mohamad dismissed concerns over the project on Johor waters.

Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, better known as Tunku Mahkota Johor (TMJ), said both the state government and the palace were kept in the dark about the ship-to-ship transfer hub (STS) project in Johor waters.

He said the menteri besar was also not aware of the project, and attached an audio recording of Johor Menteri Besar Osman Sapian saying he had had not received any update on the issue.

“The state government including the Land and Mines Office is also unaware. Whoever says that Johor is aware is lying,” said TMJ on his Twitter account.

He said anything within three nautical miles of the state’s shore comes under state jurisdiction.

“Is Putrajaya trying to usurp the powers of the state?” he asked.

Mahathir today denied that Osman was in the dark about the project, saying they had discussed about the matter.

The prime minister earlier witnessed a signing ceremony for the project between KA Petra and Hutchison Port Holdings Limited.

Costing between US$150 million and US$180 million, the project will see the development of the world’s largest STS hub in the Johor Bahru Port waters.