‘Reclamation had no impact on Johor ports’

The Johor Port Authority (JPA) has allayed fears that the recent coastal reclamation works along the Johor Strait will affect the navigation of vessels in the waterway.

JPA general manager Muhammad Razif Ahmad said all port operations were going on as usual and no vessel operators have reported obstacles caused by reclamation work along the straits.

“There have been no reports that port operations at the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), Pasir Gudang Port and Port of Tanjung Langsat are affected. We are also hoping that such a problem will never occur,” he said after the launch of the Port Development Policy Blueprint for Johor here yesterday.

The ceremony also saw the signing of memoranda of understanding on the setting up of a Port Centre of Excellence between JPA and government agencies.

Muhammad’s comment came in light of recent reports on the rapid coastal development involving land reclamation along the Johor Strait, especially the controversial Forest City project.

It was alleged that reclamation work for the Forest City project could cause problems for ships entering PTP, which is located west of the project site, as reclamation work could increase sedimentation and eventually raise the height of the seabed leading to PTP.

The shallower waters could also cause a navigational barrier for vessels trying to reach the port and eventually affect businesses that depend on shipments via PTP.

Muhammad said JPA’s challenges ahead were to expand existing port facilities to cater to the increasing needs of investors and manufacturers.

He said investors would soon lose interest if the port facilities they were currently using did not contain room for expansion.

“The Port Development Policy Blueprint will be the beacon to chart the path for us over the next 32 years,” said Muhammad.

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