BAN MAY BE EX­TENDED

In­ter­ests of le­git­i­mate min­ers must be taken into ac­count, says MB

New Straits Times - - News - HIDIR REDUAN hidirre­d­uan@nst.com.my

MENTERI Be­sar Datuk Seri Ad­nan Yaakob hinted that the mora­to­rium on baux­ite mining in Pa­hang may be ex­tended to June 15.

He said the mora­to­rium, which was sup­posed to end on March 15, might be ex­tended by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment due to the threat of en­vi­ron­men­tal de­struc­tion posed by un­li­censed baux­ite min­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, res­i­dents of Felda Bukit Kuantan and Be­serah here had claimed that il­le­gal baux­ite mining was on­go­ing.

If true, the mining ac­tiv­i­ties would con­tra­vene the mora­to­rium, which had been in force since Jan 15 last year.

The mora­to­rium has been ex­tended sev­eral times since then.

“If we con­tinue with the mora­to­rium, (le­gal) min­ers like the sub­sidiary (YP Mining Sdn Bhd) of Yayasan Pa­hang will be af­fected. But, if we al­low (the mora­to­rium) to lapse on March 15, I am wor­ried we would lose con­trol like last time.

“Peo­ple will sim­ply dig out (the baux­ite),” Ad­nan said af­ter at­tend­ing a gath­er­ing of re­tired teach­ers at Rumah Tamu Sri Gelora here yes­ter­day.

Ad­nan said the in­ter­ests of le­git­i­mate baux­ite min­ers, such as YP Mining, must be taken into ac­count be­cause if the com­pany was pre­vented from mining baux­ite, it would af­fect its abil­ity to gen­er­ate rev­enue for Yayasan Pa­hang.

“When no money comes in, YP Mining can­not con­trib­ute to Yayasan Pa­hang, which will not be able to as­sist poor stu­dents (through its pro­grammes).”

When asked how much fur­ther the mora­to­rium could be ex­tended, Ad­nan said the gov­ern­ment would make a de­ci­sion by June.

“Be­fore we make a de­ci­sion, the state gov­ern­ment has to sit down and con­sider what needs to be done.”

Datuk Seri Ad­nan Yaakob

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