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Johor’s Forest City land reclamation project alarms Singapore

Johor’s Forest City project alarms Singapore

Monday, June 23, 2014 – 10:15

The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA – The Singapore government has confirmed that it is perturbed over Johor’s Forest City project involving massive land reclamation that could affect the island state.

“Given Johor’s close proximity to Singapore, we are naturally concerned about any possible transboundary impact on Singapore from property development projects that involve reclamation work in the Straits of Johor,” a Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said in a statement.

The spokesman said there were international obligations for both Malaysia and Singapore authorities to work closely on such matters.

The Republic was responding to media queries following Saturday’s front-page story in The Star on the republic’s concern over the pro-ject.

The report highlighted that the 2,000ha project – which will be bigger than Pangkor Island and will take three decades to complete – had raised eyebrows across the causeway.

“We have asked the Malaysian authorities to provide more information so that we can undertake a study as soon as possible on the impacts of these reclamation work on Singapore and the Straits.

“They have agreed to do so and we hope to receive the information soon,” he added.

The Star had reported that Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had written to his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak about the project.

This is in addition to two diplomatic notes which were sent to the Malaysian Foreign Ministry last month.

The first was a request for Malaysia to provide all relevant information, including an environment impact assessment report and the completion date for the project.

Subsequently, Singapore sought clarification after Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin assured the state assembly that the reclamation work would not affect the environment.

Singapore reportedly started voicing its concern after an article appeared in The Star in March on the project by China’s Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd and Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor.

 

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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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