KOTA KINABALU: The State Government has been urged to review all coastline projects following the recent tsunami in Japan.
Sabah Environmental Protection Association (Sepa) president Wong Tack said the tsunami, which badly hit Japan and Acheh several years back, should serve as lessons to all.
“We are concerned over the government’s move to clear a vast area of mangrove to make way for an oil palm plantation in Lahad Datu,” he said.
Wong said that the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC), a government-owned company, is involved in the clearing of lands in several areas in Tungku and Kunak, including the mangroves, which were supposed to cushion tsunami waves.
He said the government had, initially, encouraged the protection of the swamp and mangroves after studies showed lower tsunami impact in those areas.
“The state government should not compromise on the matter for the sake of the people, particularly those living in the low-lying coastal areas.
“Anything can happen. That is why we need to take precautionary measures,” said Wong.
He pointed out that Sepa is not against development. “It needs to be done responsibly. This is for the good of the present and future generations,” he said.