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Maritime Terminal of Teluk Rubiah of Vale, Malaysia


Description:

In 2011, the subsidiary of Vale S.A. in Malaysia began the construction of the Maritime Terminal of Teluk Rubiah. TRMT is strategically located along the Straits of Malacca, one of the world’s busiest shipping channels, covering a 450-acre area (around 182 ha) of original Forest Reserve. According to the company's website, "The investment of US$ 1.37 billion has been concluded and the centre now serves as a gateway connecting our core mines in Brazil to the consumer markets in Asia. Officially known as the Teluk Rubiah Maritime Terminal (TRMT), the facility reduces the lead time to our clients in Asia by around 25 days." [1]

Successively, Vale Malaysia Minerals Corporation purchased the Teluk Rubiah forest for the construction of an iron ore processing facility. The plant is located on a 450-acre site which was originally a Permanent Forest Reserve, but the state government re-gazetted it to an ‘Industrial Zone’. Meor Razak Meor Abdul Rahman, Secretary of the Perak Environmental Association, said that the area is classified as an ‘Environmentally Sensitive Area Class 11’ and is only suitable for small eco-tourism projects but not for industrial use. The Perak Department of Wildlife and National Parks said that the area is rich in flora and fauna and protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. The site is surrounded by nature and regenerating natural primary forest whilst the bird life and mammals are protected by national and international laws. Teluk Rubiah, where the plant is sited, was once a traditional Malay fishing village and Malay reserve land.

This forest was once part of the Teluk Muroh Forest Reserve. In the 1980s, a parcel of the forest was given for the development of the Teluk Rubiah Golf Resort, but this project never took off. After some years the property was sold to Vale and the status of the land was changed from residential/tourism to industrial development, in order to accommodate the Brazilian mining giant’s plans for an iron ore stockyard and distribution center. 

Due to the construction of the Maritime Terminal, many lands are no longer accessible to the local communities. For example, the nearby Outward-Bound School has alleged that part of the jungle is inaccessible to its teams. Other education and training institutions are also banned from entering the area. Neighbors and environmental groups have joined together in their condemnations with claims that the ecosystem of the area, formerly gazetted as a forest reserve, would be destabilized.

This prompted public protests as the local community feared that the whole forest would be cleared, and they would lose this wild site. A “Say No To Vale” campaign was launched in 2013, and involves many local organizations which are organizing protests to oppose the impacts of Vale industrial project in the area. These also involve other local movements, like the one concerning the protection of the nearby Teluk Muroh Reserve. 

Local organizations belonging to the Say No To Vale campaign include Selamatkan Teluk Rubiah Manjung (Save Teluk Rubiah Manjung); Selamatkan Pantai Warisan Teluk Muroh (Save Teluk Muroh). Also, environmental local NGOs have supported the campaign, launching an online petition on AVAAZ for the protection of the local sea-life. Local turtles are in fact seriously at risk, as a consequence of Vale's steel processing factory sited on the coast. 

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Maritime Terminal of Teluk Rubiah of Vale, Malaysia
Country:Malaysia
State or province:Perak State, Manjung Reserve
Location of conflict:Teluk Rubiah
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict: 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Mineral processing
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Ports and airport projects
Specific commodities:Land
Chemical products
Iron ore

Project Details and Actors

Project details:

The facility is comprised of a deep water wharf and a stockyard with a static capacity of 3.2 million tons of iron ore where different types of iron ore can be customized to the needs of regional steelmakers.

The construction of the Teluk Rubiah Maritim Terminal requested an investment of 1,37 billion dollars. The is no information regarding the investment of the iron ore processing facility project in the surrounded area.

Project area:182
Level of Investment:1,037,000,000.00 [1]
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:01/04/2013
Company names or state enterprises:Vale Malaysia from Brazil - Main Investor and Promoter of the project
Vale (Vale) from Brazil
Relevant government actors:Government of Malaysia, Department of Environment
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- "Say No to Vale" Campaign: https://bit.ly/2tPkb9e
- Selamatkan Teluk Rubiah Manjung (Save Teluk Rubiah Manjung):
https://www.facebook.com/SaveTelukRubiah/
- Selamatkan Pantai Warisan Teluk Muroh (Save Teluk Muroh): https://bit.ly/2H3WBhK
-Local NGO (For environmental justice and global sustainability) Persatuan Sahabat Alam- KUASA: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PersatuanAktivisSahabatAlam/about/?ref=page_internal
-Malaysian Human Rights Commission

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Strikes

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Mine tailing spills
Potential: Air pollution, Desertification/Drought, Fires, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination, Global warming, Waste overflow, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Other Environmental impacts
Health ImpactsVisible: Occupational disease and accidents
Potential: Other environmental related diseases, Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Infectious diseases, Deaths, Other Health impacts
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women

Outcome

Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The mobilizations did not have any concrete impact on stopping or blocking the realization of the Terminal, nor of the iron ore processing facility. Therefore, local NGOs are still involved in events and campaigns for environmental justice related to the importance of local flora and fauna protection.

Sources and Materials

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Newspaper article: "Teluk Rubiah: a forest worth preserving"
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/environment/2014/03/17/teluk-rubiah-a-forest-worth-preserving/

Newspaper article: "Sukaham to look into the reclamation project in Teluk Muroh"
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/09/281555/sukaham-look-reclamation-project-teluk-muroh

Local Blog Pulau Pankor: "Teluk Rubiah: a lost reserve"
http://www.pulau-pangkor.com/Teluk-Rubiah.html

Newspaper article "Royal link in Iron Ore Plant"
https://www.malaysia-today.net/2011/08/23/royal-link-in-iron-ore-plant/

[1] Vale Malaysia - Teluk Rubiah Maritime Terminal
http://www.vale.com.my/business/

Newspaper article: "Teluk Rubiah: Vale of tears for the Malaysia project"
http://www.ipohecho.com.my/v2/2012/03/01/teluk-rubiah-vale-of-tears-for-the-malaysia-project/

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Facebook Page "Selamatkan Teluk Rubiah Manjung" (Save Teluk Rubiah)
https://www.facebook.com/SaveTelukRubiah/

Facebook Page "Selamatkan Pantai Warisan Teluk Muroh" (Save Teluk Muroh)
https://www.facebook.com/SelamatkanTelukMuruh/?__tn__=kCH-R&eid=ARAMn6H7f1-ftvgn8otbE8Sb74LjJr8y4b8GMeEab5AmEAFgPznttqQAbqfff9JngKg-M6WLu_Q8vlX6&hc_ref=ARTPn--u8xUQvMSK_V9tjlb4gZWn5duJsMSJ6odG8xJZdDDqHTD2JhBtltUCJygsWqk&fref=nf

Facebook Page of a local environmental organization acting in the protection of the sea livelihood, at the moment seriously at risk: Selamatkan Penyu & Hutan Bukit Pantai Segari.
https://www.facebook.com/pg/SelamatkanPenyuSegari/about/?ref=page_internal

AVAAZ Community Petition: Save Malaysia's sea turtles, compromised by the environmental sea pollution caused by the nearby activities of Vale Coorporation.
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/community_petitions/SAVE_MALAYSIAS_SEA_TURTLES/

Facebook page of the local NGO KUASA Persatuan Aktivis Sahabat Alam, supporting the Say No to Vale Campaign
https://www.facebook.com/PersatuanAktivisSahabatAlam/

Facebook page "Say No To Vale" campaing
https://www.facebook.com/Say-NO-To-Vale-602060146490738/?__tn__=K-R&eid=ARCcYusxXhxZK1SVuCyCxC7sVKNdK7OJzhyPEpkU6siAldYWq0H7LAnvOC7fCKXK9lZcpZii-QoM_q_h&fref=mentions

Other documents

"Say No To Vale" Campaign's Logo

Source: Facebook Page "Say No to Vale"
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/noVale.png

Save Teluk Muroh Beach Don't destroy our mother nature, Campaign's Logo

Source: Facebook Page "Save Teluk Muroh"
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/save.jpg

Natural Security At Risk

Source: Facebook Page "Say No to Vale"
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/Novalepage.jpg

Teluk Rubiah's local strikes Source: Facebook Page "Say No to Vale"
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/local_strikes.jpg

Environmental and Landscape Impact Teluk Rubiah's iron ore facility's construction

Source: Facebook Page "Save Teluk Muroh"
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/teluk_mineral.JPG

Meta information

Contributor:Alexandra D'Angelo ([email protected])
Last update25/03/2019

Images

 

"Say No To Vale"

Campaign's Logo Source: Facebook Page "Say No to Vale"

Save Teluk Muroh Beach

Don't destroy our mother nature, Campaign's Logo Source: Facebook Page "Save Teluk Muroh"

Natural Security At Risk Source: Facebook Page "Say No to Vale"

Teluk Rubiah's local strikes

Source: Facebook Page "Say No to Vale"

Environmental and Landscape Impact

Teluk Rubiah's iron ore facility's construction Source: Facebook Page "Save Teluk Muroh"