PALAU’S PELELIU REJECTS CONTROVERSIAL DEVELOPMENT

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PALAU’S PELELIU REJECTS CONTROVERSIAL DEVELOPMENT Credibility of ‘Nautilus City’ questioned

By Bernadette H. Carreon KOROR (Palau Horizon, Sept. 1, 2010) - The Peleliu legislature adopted a resolution last week rejecting the controversial Nautilus city project, a project managed by UK investment Holdings Limited.

In Resolution No. 10-11-10, majority members of the legislature also expressed its opposition to the "dubious practices," of UKIHL and its owner Morris Davidson.

The legislature stated in the resolution that it has found reports by a foreign company, Pacific Investments Properties, which claims to have been duped by the controversial UK-IHL to invest huge amounts of money for a non-existent project.

"The legislature finds through its interviews with owners of the lands and anticipated for the Nautilus City and that these private landowners have not given out the lands or signed any agreements with UKIHL," the resolution stated.

The resolution also claims there is still no proof of funding for this US$2.1 Billion dollar project and moreover, the project would have a negative impact on Peleliu.

The Peleliu legislators joined the bandwagon in urging President Johnson Toribiong to reject the development.

Earlier, in a letter to the president, the members of the council of chiefs expressed concerns about the grave allegations made by certain individuals on the firm and made recommendations that includes prohibiting Minister of Public Infrastructure, Industries and Commerce Jackson Ngiraingas from using his post to support the firm and stop the false advertisement in the internet that makes it appear that the country is supporting the company.

The traditional chiefs said that Toribiong’s support of UKIHL is a serious matter as it undermines the rule of law.

The leaders said that the internet advertisement contains statements that made it appear that UKIHL has various licenses from Palau to undertake the wide range of businesses that are part of Nautilus City and Solaris City Project.

Toribiong for his part said that UIKHL’s application before the Foreign Investment Board has been put on hold to give the firm the chance to explain its intentions.

Earlier Toribiong said that Peleliu residents are supporting the project.

He added that Morris Davidson, Palau’s honorary consul to Malaysia and the project’s proponent has been relieved of his diplomatic post.

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