The Alliance Steel (M) Sdn Bhd plant's 710 acre plot on the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park's (MCKIP) 3,000 acre industrial estate seen through a toxic haze of smoke from forest fires caused by slash and burn practices on palm plantations in nearby Sumatra. The park is the first Malaysia National Industrial Park jointly developed by both Malaysia and China. Strategically located in the East Coast Economic Region and facing the South China Sea, it represents a gateway access to ASEAN, Asia Pacific and worldwide markets.
The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), currently under construction as a small part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, will connect the industrial park to the capital and beyond but it will also cut through environmentally sensitive peat and wetland areas in the Setiu District. The Chinese and Malaysian governments claim its economic benefits outweigh the environmental impacts, which they say will be minimal, but opponents of the scheme fear it will do damage to the east coast wetland's complex ecology.