Government now admits no environmental analysis done for Rempang Eco City project

Source – September 29, 2023
Rempang Island residents face off with police – September 7, 2023 (Viva)

Dian Erika Nugraheny, Icha Rastika, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan says that the environmental impact analysis (Amdal) for the Eco City project on Rempang Island, Batam, is still in process.

According to Pandjaitan, there are no problems with the Amdal.

"Yeah, right now everything is in the process. There aren’t any problems", said Pandjaitan after attending a launch and discussion on the book Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan According to us at the Gramedia Matraman bookstore in Jakarta on Friday September 29.

Pandjaitan emphasised that there is no target for resolving the problems on Rempang Island.

Earlier, Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia said that the government had already conducted a thorough study of the Eco City project and the glass and solar panel industry that is to be established on Rempang Island.

Lahadalia rejected criticism from the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) about the risk of environmental damage as a consequence of the project on Rempang.

"It's been done already, of course (it's part of the study). Walhi shouldn't feel like it knows better than the government. You're behaving like this country, as if its regulated by some other institution", he said during a press conference on Monday September 25 as reported by Kompas TV.

Lahadalia said that there is already an Amdal on the construction project on Rempang, and insisted that the Eco City project will not harm the local environment.

"Where is there a country that wants to bring suffering to its people? Write this down carefully, we respect Walhi's thoughts, but the country also has its goals", he said.

"There is an Amdal, if in this country we keep worrying, continue to be suspicious, when do you want to move forward? We're just being given spice to curry suspicion, keep being afraid, when do we want to progress", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Luhut: Amdal Rempang Eco City Masih Proses, Enggak Ada Masalah".]