Gov't urged to consider consequences before tearing down MCKIP wall

T.N. Alagesh and Mohamad Azim Fitri Abd Aziz

KUANTAN: The government should take into consideration the consequences before they tear down the perimeter wall around the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) in Gebang here.

State Tourism, Environment and Plantations committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin said the previous government had already deliberated on the matter consideration, putting it down to the culture and working style of the Chinese citizens.

“That might be the working culture of the Chinese nationals, who prefer a secluded area. It could be also due to security reasons that the previous government had allowed the construction of the wall.

“Just like when we are there (China), they respect our working culture including the need for halal food supply, surau facilities and separate washroom. So I believe the wall is due to their working culture,” Sharkar said when contacted by NSTP today.

He was commenting on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s intention to take down the wall. The prime minister had said this during an interview on Thursday with a news portal.

Sharkar expressed his concerns saying such minor issues could affect the relationship between Malaysia and China.

Meanwhile, state Pas deputy commissioner Andansura Rabu said he does not agree with the move to “physically” tear down the wall.

“It is only a waste and does not serve any purpose. However, if he (Dr Mahathir) wants to look into their working culture or agreement that will benefit Malaysia, then I agree with the move.

“They should follow our working culture and not we follow theirs,” he said.

Meanwhile, lorry driver R. Kandan, who supplies construction materials to the MCKIP site, said it was surprising that the wall has been made an issue and there are plans to tear it down.

The government should take into consideration the consequences before they tear down the perimeter wall around the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) in Gebang here. Pic by NSTP/FARIZUL HAFIZ AWANG

The 40-year-old said such wall was normal for an industrial site and if anyone wants to enter the site, they can ask permission from the security guards or management to enter the premises.

“There is no secrecy or illegal activity behind the perimeter wall. In fact, I have been coming here quite often to supply the materials and the site just operates like any other factory, just that it is very huge.

“In fact, I was informed that MCKIP did not put up the wall and it was another factory (Alliance Steel), which put up the fencing. MCKIP’s office is just by the road side and near the main guard house, while the factory is located far behind,” he said, declining to be pictured.

Gebeng resident Azhar Jusoh, 49, said any decision by the government should ensure that the people will not have to bear the consequences of the action.

He said if the government considers that tearing down the wall will help the country then it was up to the government to do so.

Checks at the MCKIP site today saw the main entrance busy with lorries and vehicles waiting to get their clearance to enter the site. The 9km wall has been in the spotlight for quite some time with some describing it as Kuantan’s “Great Wall of China.”

Meanwhile efforts to contact MCKIP’s management to comment on the matter proved futile while a spokesman said they will inform the media if MCKIP plans to issue a statement.

Alliance Steel (M) Sdn Bhd is the first company operating at the MCKIP site which has more than 1,200 workers where a majority of them are locals. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd