‘Go Green’ to support Kristang settlers

Ujong Pasir settlers including fishermen say reclamation works is too close to the coastline.
Ujong Pasir settlers including fishermen say reclamation works is too close to the coastline.

PETALING JAYA — Fed-up with the deafening silence from the authorities on the status of the RM40 billion Melaka Gateway project, settlers in Ujong Pasir, Malacca plan to take matters into their own hands.

Spearheaded by the Malacca Portuguese-Eurasian Community, a month-long “go green” campaign was launched on Friday to create awareness on the impact the development project has on settlers including fishermen living in the area.

Its president Michael Singho said it has been three months since a stop work order was issued to the developer, who has been carrying out land reclamation works, but people are still in the dark over the fate of the project. 

“There has been no news from the state government and the developer on what is going on, with both parties yet to hold discussions with the settlers whose shore fronts the reclaimed land,” he said.

“We need more support and feedback not only from our residents but from the public. We want them to understand our plight,” he said.

He said members of the association will wear green throughout the campaign and he hopes others will also join the programme. 

“The public can wear anything green ... it can be a T-shirt, a ribbon or even a sash to show support to the settlers of Ujong Pasir.

“We chose green as its the colour of the Portuguese flag and it also represents the environment. 

He said the settlers hope they will not be at a disadvantage if the project proceeds as plan.

Malay Mail, had in a special report on June 11, highlighted the plight of the settlers who are worried the identity and heritage of Portuguese Eurasian, or Kristang settlers, will come under threat from the project as they claim it will take away the coastline which is essential to their way of life.

The settlers had claimed land reclamation works, which was approved by the state government, was based on an obsolete environmental impact assessment (EIA) report approved in 1998.

Spanning a 246ha site in Pulau Melaka — the first manmade island in the state the Melaka Gateway project is due for completion in 2023. The slated attraction includes a seven-star hotel, malls, a 98 acre ecological island, luxury condominiums and a museum among others.

The state environment department had previously said the developer failed to fulfill requirements before starting land reclamation works last year.

The department confirmed the 1998 EIA report could not be accepted for land reclamation works to be carried out.

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