‘Freeze may be ex­tended to year end’

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: The freeze on bauxite mining in Pa­hang may be pro­longed un­til the end of the year be­cause of the east coast’s er­ratic weather.

Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Wan Ju­naidi Tuanku Jaa­far said his min­istry needed to ob­serve en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions at mining sites dur­ing dif­fer­ent weather sit­u­a­tions.

“The mora­to­rium be­gan in Jan­uary and could go on well into the end of the year. We can­not open them now be­cause it is the rainy sea­son there.

“Only af­ter the rainy sea­son can we ob­serve whether rivers will be pol­luted or not,” he said at the launch of the Sime Darby Foun­da­tion’s En­vi­ron­ment Day here yes­ter­day.

He said there were no plans to per­ma­nently close the mines.

“There are lo­cal busi­nesses to think about. Since the mora­to­rium, many shops had to close. The prob­lem is not the mining in­dus­try, but the man­age­ment of it.”

On an­other mat­ter, he said a draft syllabus for a sub­ject on the en­vi­ron­ment in schools and uni­ver­si­ties was al­most com­pleted.

Once com­pleted, the sec­re­taries-gen­eral of the Nat­u­ral Re­sources

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