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KOTA TINGGI, June 22:

Johor Petroleum Development Corporation (JPDC) chief executive Mohd Yazid Jaafar is confident that relocation work on four Chinese cemeteries in Pengerang near here will be completed by the end of August.

“We are confident that the work, at least the digging of the graves, will be ready by Aug 31 while the time for reburial or cremation will be decided by feng shui.”

He said JPDC was happy with the decision of the civil court in Johor Baru on June 19 to reject an injunction application by one of the residents in Pengerang to stop the digging and relocation of the graves of his ancestors.

“We have had no problems in terms of the law or the Chinese customs and traditions right from the start.

“The decision gave us the green light to proceed with the relocation work.”

He said this when approached at the launch of the Clients’ Day with Petronas and JPDC by Johor State Economic Planning Unit (UPENJ) deputy director 1 Mohammed Ridha Abd Kadir at SK Pengerang in Pengerang today.

On the action by another resident, Chua Peng Sian, 49, who walked 500km from Pengerang to Kuala Lumpur to protest the relocation of graves of his ancestors, Yazid said JPDC had tried to negotiate with the man, who is fondly known as Ah Chai.

“We tried to negotiate with him at several levels. In fact, we told him that he did not have to walk that far because the door for negotiation is open but he insisted on his stand.

“We respect Chua’s stand, but at the same time, we also need to respect the rights of the majority.”

Chua started his walk from Pengerang on June 1 and he was at the Dataran Merdeka on June 11 to meet with Petronas chief executive officer Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas to submit his protest on the development of the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC).

Four Chinese cemeteries will be relocated to Bukit Gelugor for the implementation of the petroleum complex project and 1,542 graves have been relocated since April 18.

The new Muslim cemetery is at Kampung Punggai.

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