MB wrong, bauxite mining killing our businesses, say locals

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Two children play near a bauxite mining site in Felda Bukit Goh, Kuantan. Villagers say their complaints to authorities over the pollution from mining activities have fallen on deaf ears. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, January 8, 2016. Small busi

Small business operators and food vendors in Bukit Goh, Pahang said rampant bauxite mining there has severely affected their business, refuting the menteri besar’s claim that locals have benefited from the industry.

Motorcycle workshop owner Suhaizam Abdul Aziz, 45, said contrary to Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob’s statement that bauxite mining generated economic activities with spin-off effects in the state, it had only brought misery for locals.

“Who benefited from it? Not locals.

“If you look at the industry closely, the money went to outsiders. Most of the lorry drivers come from outside the state. Likewise, the workers. There were some locals but the ratio is small, like 50 foreigners to four locals,” said Suhaizam. Read more

Kuantan facing severe danger

Source: The NST Online

The red sea phenomenon off Kuantan is believed to be due to bauxite ore stockpiled near Kuantan Port. Pic taken from NST Online.

The red sea phenomenon off Kuantan is believed to be due to bauxite ore stockpiled near Kuantan Port. Pic taken from NST Online.

KUALA LUMPUR: A team of scientists has warned that the damage to the environment from the indiscriminate and poorly regulated mining of bauxite may be so severe that the ecosystem may never recover.

The adverse health effects on the Kuantan public could be devastating, and could last for generations.

The group of 17 professionals covering a diverse array of environmental disciplines have called for the Pahang government to issue an immediate stop work order on bauxite mining in the district.

This marked the first time that a group of independent scientists had arrived at a consensus and issued a dire and comprehensive warning of the consequences of the unrestrained mining of bauxite in the state. Read more

Cabinet seeks to suspend bauxite mining after environmental scare

Source: The Malaysian Insider

After coastline waters and surrounding rivers in Pahang has turned red, the Cabinet will temporarily halt bauxite mining until regulations, licensing and environmental protection can be put in place. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, January 2, 2016.

Malaysia is pushing to suspend bauxite mining due to concerns about its impact on the environment, a cabinet source said today, threatening to interrupt supply of the aluminium-making ingredient to China.

The largely unregulated industry has grown rapidly in the last two years to meet Chinese demand.

Bauxite mining was blamed for turning the waters red on a stretch of coastline and surrounding rivers in eastern peninsula Malaysia after two days of heavy rain earlier this week.

The cabinet wants to temporarily halt bauxite mining until regulations, licensing and environmental protection can be put in place, the source told Reuters today. Read more

Kabinet arah perlombongan bauksit dihentikan sementara, kata akhbar

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Kabinet memutuskan aktiviti perlombongan bauksit di Pahang dihentikan buat sementara bagi membolehkan kajian terhadap kaedah mengangkutnya dapat dibuat. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 2 Januari, 2016.

Kementerian Pengangkutan akan mengkaji semula kaedah mengangkut bauksit menerusi darat dan laut di Kuantan yang kini dibantah secara meluas penduduk di sekitar kawasan perlombongan itu, kata Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Menteri pengangkutan itu dilaporkan Utusan Malaysia hari ini berkata, kajian itu akan dilaksanakan susulan arahan Kabinet agar aktiviti perlombongan bauksit dihentikan buat sementara.

“Kita tahu ini satu isu yang perlu dikaji dari segi cara perlombongan yang lestari kerana kalau kita menggunakan cara sekarang, tidak selamat dan mencemar kawasan kita.

“Sebab itulah kita kaji bukan sahaja dari segi perlombongan tetapi pengangkutan juga, sebab bauksit halus ini ringan dan terbang dan menyebabkan seluruh kawasan menjadi merah,” beliau dipetik berkata. Read more

Pahang residents see red as blue waters vanish

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Mohd Suhaimi Arman Zulkifli, 11, dips his hands into Sungai Balok to look for shells yesterday, oblivious to the possibilities of danger from bauxite contamination. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Mohd Suhaimi Arman Zulkifli, 11, dips his hands into Sungai Balok to look for shells yesterday, oblivious to the possibilities of danger from bauxite contamination. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUANTAN, Dec 31 — Residents are in a daze over bauxite contamination that turned the sea here a shocking red on Tuesday.

Teacher Peh Chuen Keong, who has been living here for the last 20 years, is reeling from the shock of seeing the beach at nearby Pantai Batu Hitam a sickly brown yesterday.

He was also upset that students like his young son who accompanied him to the beach could not swim in what had previously been placid blue waters.

“What a terrible thing to happen. I thought I could come here with my son and swim in the water but now we can’t. It was a sad and scary thing to see,” said the 35-year-old who had brought his family to the beach.

He said although the sea off the village had been becoming murkier over the past few months, he never thought that it would deteriorate to such an  extent. Read more

Suara tunggal penduduk kampung menentang perlombongan bauksit

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Deretan lori membawa bauksit diliputi debu merah ketika tiba di Pelabuhan Kuantan, Pahang. – Gambar The Malaysian Insider oleh Afif Abd Halim, 20 Disember, 2015.

Pada kadar RM7 hingga RM9 bagi setiap tan tanah, ramai penduduk kampung yang tanah mereka diintai pelombong bauksit di Kuantan, Pahang, menjebakkan diri semata-mata untuk memperoleh sedikit keuntungan dalam kegilaan terbaharu melombong bijih besi yang sangat dimahukan industri aluminium China.

Tetapi bukan Mohd Saidi Abdul Samad, suara tunggal di kampungnya yang lantang bersuara menentang aktiviti perlombongan.

“Sekiranya ayah saya sendiri yang menjual tanahnya kepada pelombong bauksit saya tetap akan menentangnya. Mereka tidak tahu apakah kesan aktiviti ini kepada alam sekitar kita. Saya bukan orang kaya atau berpendidikan tinggi tetapi saya tahu yang (perlombongan) jika tidak dikawal akan menjadi bom jangka,” Saidi memberitahu The Malaysian Insider sewaktu lawatan ke kawasan perlombongan bauksit di negeri pantai timur Semenanjung Malaysia itu.

Saidi disindir kerana menentang aktiviti perlombongan di sekitar kampungnya, Kampung Pemuda Datuk Haji Abdul Aziz, malah dituduh menjadi “macai” pembangkang tetapi kekal menegaskan beliau melakukan perkara terbaik untuk kebaikan penduduk setempat. Read more

Kuantan in danger of toxic flood, soil erosion from bauxite mining, says MP

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Bauxite activities can cause massive soil erosion as miners dig for the mineral daily. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, December 19, 2015.

As the peninsula’s east coast experiences its monsoon season, PKR’s Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh warns that the rains will compound an already alarming situation arising from unregulated and indiscriminate bauxite mining.

Mining activities in three parliamentary constituencies in the east coast state of Pahang during the monsoon might lead to a toxic flood worse than the deluge which displaced more than 20,000 households two years ago, she said.

“The monsoon season is here. The rainfall will be more than usual. It will last longer as well. Floods may occur if Sungai Kuantan overflows.

“Imagine the mud containing toxic substances and heavy metals from bauxite activities in those areas flowing into the rivers.

“Four hours of non-stop rain caused a wall at a bauxite pond to give way, what more if it rains non-stop for four or seven days,” she said, referring to the incident last month when the wall at a bauxite pond in Bukit Goh collapsed, causing polluted water to flood the village in the area. Read more

Asma, masalah pernafasan meningkat akibat perlombongan bauksit Kuantan

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Seorang pekerja membersihkan lori bauksit yang diliputi debu merah di Pelabuhan Kuantan, Pahang. Situasi itu dikatakan menjadi punca kepada masalah kesihatan kepada ramai penduduk setempat. – Gambar The Malaysian Insider oleh Afif Abd Halim, 19 Disember, 2015.

Hanya ada satu penjelasan, kata guru sekolah Syed Sharinnizam Syed Mohd Shah, ketika menyaksikan semakin ramai pelajarnya tiba-tiba mengalami ruam dan masalah pernafasan.

Katanya, ia pasti berpunca daripada habuk merah yang memenuhi udara di sekitar sekolah itu, Maahad Tahfiz Anwar At-Tanzil yang terletak di Tanjung Pasir dekat Kuantan, Pahang. Read more

Pahang Government To Give Land Title For House Lot To Orang Asli

Source: Bernama

KUANTAN, Nov 20 (Bernama) — The Pahang government has agreed to issue land title for house lot to the Orang Asli in the state with each household expected to be allotted 0.1 hectare, said Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob.

He said the decision was made as part of the state government’s initiatives to resolve land ownership problem facing the Orang Asli.

“At the same time, the state government will consider using the share scheme approach for the Orang Asli reserve land to avoid the community from selling the land to other people,” he added. Read more

Water, fish contain high level of arsenic

Source: NST Online

KUANTAN: DO not consume fish or other seafood from water sources contaminated with bauxite and its residue!

Public health experts have warned those here that the water sources where bauxite had seeped in were heavily contaminated with toxic chemicals, some with carcinogens.

The desperate call stemmed from the independent laboratory test results commissioned two weeks ago by the New Straits Times Probes Team on live fish samples obtained from Pantai Pengorak and Sungai Pengorak here.

 

The three fish samples that were submitted to an independent laboratory for tests by the NST Probes team - pic by NST

The three fish samples that were submitted to an independent laboratory for tests by the NST Probes team – pic by NST

Tests were conducted for metal concentration in fish from the Gebeng coastal area that had been contaminated with bauxite.

The NST received the test results late on Monday and were shocked by the readings.

The most disturbing reading was the arsenic level. The Food Regulation 1985 states that the permissible level for arsenic in fish and fishery product is 1mg/kg.

The mean reading for arsenic in the three fish samples that were submitted for the test was 101.5mg/kg, very much higher than the permissible level.

In the first sample (Fish 1), the trace of arsenic was at 70.8. Fish 2 registered 93.2, while Fish 3 was at a staggering 104.5.

“We don’t eat fish by the gramme. Imagine the levels of carcinogens being consumed in one serving,” said a scientist assisting the Probes Team in analysing the results.

Environmental health expert Professor Dr Jamal Hisham Hashim said the public should avoid consuming seafood harvested from the area as the high concentration of arsenic in them could cause cancer. Read more