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Robbed of view by reclamation works

04/12/2009 The Star

YOUR article regarding illegal reclamation works at Klebang in Malacca on Nov 25 is of particular interest to me, as I am one of the residents affected by the loss of our waterfront.

Firstly, I have to explain that I am a foreigner and am very appreciative of Malaysians for welcoming me so warmly as a resident in their wonderful country. I never believed that I could ever afford a home right on the seafront.

Consequently, I was disturbed a few years ago when the extensive reclamation works started further along towards the town. At that time, we made representation to the Government offices regarding our own stretch of the seafront, and we were assured that there was no intention to come in front of our properties at this end.

This was a tremendous relief to those of us who had carefully selected a beautiful location where we could settle for the rest of our lives. Now our dreams are shattered. The reclamation work is proceeding past our properties without the necessary approvals, and with no dialogue with affected residents or business owners.

In fact, the illegal work started up again at 1.30am (on Nov 26) in spite of a stop order being in place, and with no consideration for the disturbance that the noisy groundworking equipment was causing to the residents attempting to sleep.

The work stopped for a while when the police were called in, but not before the contractor used threatening behaviour towards one of the seafront restaurant owners, and this was witnessed by me and by the police. The violators were taken away at that stage, so peace and quiet resumed.

I understand from your article that the developer can be fined RM500 per day for ignoring the stop order, and so if the authorities are recording the events accurately that is obviously every day for the last month and still ongoing.

However, it doesn’t take an expert to realise that the cost of not continuing work on a multi-million ringgit development is far greater than RM500 per day! In fact, such a fine would not hurt at all, so there is no incentive for the developer to be law-abiding.

On the moral issue, why was there no dialogue with the inhabitants of the stretch of seafront who have invested their money to buy the best location for their home or business?

It seems that morals do not come into this at all. We now lose our seafront to the reclamation, and assuming that there is enough financial backing for this ambitious development, the purchasers of the new properties get the advantage that we are now losing – until of course they are similarly cheated of their magnificent views in the future when more of the sea is reclaimed in front of them!




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