Ghani: We'll save Tanjung Piai

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 03 Jun 2003

JOHOR BARU: Johor will spare no effort to protect Tanjung Piai – the southernmost tip of the Asian continent – from “disappearing” due to excessive coastal erosion. 

Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said that due to its geographical significance and being one of Johor’s famous landmarks, it would be a grave loss for the state if Tanjung Piai lost its “tip”.  

He said the state was waiting for recommendations by a group of experts from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, the Department of Environment and the Drainage and Irrigation Department.  

Tidal waves, including waves from passing giant cargo vessels, had been identified as the cause of the erosion and the state had embarked on short-term remedial efforts, he said. 

“We are aware and extremely concerned over the erosion and will decide on the next form of action once the group has briefed the state in the next few months. 

“We are also aware of the cost that has to be incurred to stop the soil erosion and will have to work out the finances. What is important is Tanjung Piai must be saved,” he said after attending a forum on Islamic Civilisation yesterday. 

More than 15m of coastline have been lost over the past year due to tidal waves, triggering fears that Johor’s most famous landmark might be wiped out if the destruction is not checked. 

ALMOST GONE:Some villagers looking at the stumps of fallen mangroves in Tanjung Piai,thesouthernmost tip of the Asian continent,yesterday.

The area is part of the 926ha Tanjung Piai National Park of which 526ha is coastal mangrove, home to a rich variety of birds, animals and insects. 

State Tourism and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said the phenomenon of “disappearing coastline” was also happening to other areas west of Johor. 

He said constructing a temporary embankment along the coast of Tanjung Piai would be a short-term measure. 

“The Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry has allocated RM500,000 for this purpose and we are expediting embankment works along the affected areas. We intend to build a permanent embankment,” he said. 

The embankment would cost between RM10mil and RM15mil. 

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