MB fears ac­tiv­ity could im­pact marine ecosys­tem

New Straits Times - - News - NURADZIMMAH DAIM PARIT

THE Perak gov­ern­ment has raised en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns about sand-dredg­ing near its wa­ters, fol­low­ing the de­ten­tion of two ves­sels 27.5 nau­ti­cal miles off Pangkor Is­land.

Men­teri Be­sar Datuk Seri Dr Zam­bry Abd Kadir said the state gov­ern­ment was in the dark over the mat­ter.

He said while the ac­tiv­ity was be­yond the state’s juris­dic­tion, he said they should be in­formed as the ac­tiv­ity could im­pact the marine ecosys­tem at one of Malaysia’s tourism spots.

“Legally, the dredg­ing site falls un­der the juris­dic­tion of the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment as it is lo­cated more than three nau­ti­cal miles off the Perak shore.

“How­ever, I feel the state gov­ern­ments should be made aware of any sand dredg­ing in their ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters. I hope the Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry will look into this (in fu­ture).

“I had raised the mat­ter re­cently and the min­istry has in­formed me that it would in­ves­ti­gate,” he said.

Un­der Sec­tion 4(4) of the Con­ti­nen­tal Shelf Act 1966 (Re­vised 1972), the Con­ti­nen­tal Shelf area cov­ers an area sit­u­ated out­side the ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters of the state. The sec­tion em­pow­ers the Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter to grant the li­cence for sand min­ing in the par­tic­u­lar site.

The sand dredg­ing com­pany’s ves­sels are in de­ten­tion pend­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the Malaysian Mar­itime En­force­ment Agency (MMEA). The case is ex­pected to be men­tioned in the Man­jung court this week.

MMEA had, on Jan 15, de­tained the sand dredg­ing and trans­porter ves­sel while trans­fer­ring work of the dredged ma­te­rial was be­ing car­ried out.

It has opened in­ves­ti­ga­tions un­der the Con­ti­nen­tal Shelf Act 1966 (Re­vised 1972) for sand theft as the op­er­a­tor had failed to pro­duce proof of doc­u­ments is­sued by the Land and Mines Depart­ment.

In the op­er­a­tion, 15 Chi­nese ci­ti­zens and an In­done­sian, aged be­tween 21 and 55, were de­tained to as­sist in in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

It was learnt that the ves­sels be­longed to a Chi­nese firm rented out to a lo­cal com­pany.

The dredged ma­te­rial was to be sent to Pe­nang for a recla­ma­tion project there.

Datuk Seri Dr Zam­bry Abd Kadir

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