Petronas should defer RAPID project

pengerang rapid (EN)

Media statement by DAP Johor Chairman and MP for Kluang Liew Chin Tong on 5th March 2014

I call on Petronas to defer its Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) project in Pengerang for a holistic, consultative and open-ended review of the project with a possibility of scrapping it altogether if it is found to be economically not viable and socially negative.

Petronas Group President and CEO Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas should be commended for his candid understanding of the negative social impact and the economic uncertainties involving the RAPID project.

Speaking at the press conference yesterday, Tan Sri Shamsul said Petronas is concerned about “the economics and viability” of the project. He was quoted as saying “if there is no economics and there is a need for us to defer, we will defer.”

The Edge Financial Daily quoted Shamsul as saying that “Mind you we are dealing with an over 6000-acre site, you can’t just send a bulldozer and demolish all houses and farms.”

It is clear that the economic viability of the RAPID project is still uncertain while Petronas is cognizant of the huge negative social impacts the project has created.

It is not only houses and farms that are affected. Thousands of graves are forced to be relocated, causing emotional trauma to thousands of families.

It is unwise for Petronas, the national petroleum corporate, to tarnish its image by taking away houses, farms and graves, for a project with questionable economic viability.

Petronas says that it is releasing its final investment decision on the project in March or early April. I call on Petronas to defer the investment and subject the project to a thorough review with the possibility of scrapping it altogether.

On this note, Johor PAS Commissioner YB Aminolhuda Hassan, Deputy Secretary-General of Parti KeADILan Rakyat (PKR) Steven Choong and myself have written to Tan Sri Shamsul to request for a meeting on the issue of Pengerang.

In the interest of the nation, we would like to impress upon him the need for Petronas to take into consideration the negative social impacts of the RAPID project.

Liew Chin Tong

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