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May 23, 2017

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Over 500 Malaysians rally against Kuokuang project

KUALA LUMPUR--Hundreds of residents of Pengerang, Malaysia defied a downpour Saturday to stage a demonstration against a planned petrochemical project to be built with investment from Taiwan's Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology.

Led by six self-help groups, over 500 villagers in the small town in southern Malaysia chanted slogans in the protest over the controversial project that was scrapped in Taiwan due to environmental concerns.

Taiwan's minister of economic affairs confirmed earlier this month the naphtha cracker plant project, in which state-owned oil refiner CPC Corp. has a large stake, might be moved to Malaysia. CPC later said the Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co. will complete a feasibility assessment by May next year.

Saturday's demonstrators opposed a proposed relocation of residents, a Mandarin school in the coastal town, graveyards containing nearly 3,000 tombs and land seizures.

During the event, activists took turns to address the crowd, while others held banners reading "stop the project; save Pengerang" and "grave pollution of ocean and air."

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