‘I know nothing,’ says Dr M of golf resort on Ramsar land in Johor

(FMT) – Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he knows “nothing” of the development of a golf resort said to be within the Sungai Pulai mangrove reserve in Johor.

However, just last month, Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar said Mahathir was “well aware” of the situation.

“I know nothing, talk about the car,” Mahathir told reporters at the Asia GT Festival at the Sepang International Circuit today. On display was the NIO EP9 — the world’s fastest electric car — in which he later took a drive.

Mahathir was asked to confirm if the land occupied by the resort was sultanate land as claimed by some quarters.

Sources had told FMT the project, which opened its doors to the public late last year and reportedly cost RM2 billion, encroached on the Sungai Pulai Ramsar site.

The company involved in the project had repeatedly turned down FMT’s requests for an interview.

Xavier told reporters last month that Mahathir had asked Putrajaya to look into the matter and find out what happened and how this was allowed.

He said the federal government did not have laws to allow action against a state government on land issues but that Mahathir wanted to see how Putrajaya can have “more say” on deforestation.

Green group Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia and rights group Lawyers for Liberty have called for federal intervention to stop further destruction of the Sungai Pulai reserve.