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Chinese developer receives approval for construction of Forest City in Malaysia

By Liang Jun (People's Daily Online)    09:46, March 09, 2016
Chinese developer receives approval for construction of Forest City in Malaysia
The design sketch of Forest City.

Construction and reclamation for a luxury housing project, invested in by Chinese developer Yang Guoqiang, to be built on a man-made island in the Johor Strait, has received approval from Malaysia's Department of the Environment, according to www.thepaper.cn

The project, called Forest City, has an estimated value of 250 billion yuan, or 58.3 billion USD, and is slated to be completed in 2035.

The development lies in the Iskandar Development Region of Johor Bahru, Malaysia's second largest city, separated by sea from Singapore. Covering an area of nearly 14 square kilometers, almost half the size of Macau, it is planned to be a “city at sea,” consisting of four man-made islands.

In 2014, when the reclamation began, the project stirred controversy. Some residents believed that the project would destroy the surrounding environment, while the Singaporean government conveyed its concern that the project lay too close to the border between the two countries, only 2 kilometers from Singapore.

In January 2015, Country Garden Pacificview Sdn. Bhd. (CGPV), the developer of the Forest City project, announced that its environmental impact assessment report had gotten a nod from Malaysia.

Yang Guoqiang said City Forest is only 2 kilometers from Singapore — a distance that can even be swum. Yang said, “Dubai built a city in the desert and we will build a Forest City in the Iskandar Development Region, with a Singaporean lifestyle and the economics of Malaysia.”

Local politicians have suggested that despite the project getting approval, its implementation is still cause for concern. Malaysia's government may ignore the environmental costs due to excessive economic development.  

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Liang Jun,Bianji)

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