Wan Ju­naidi: State, fed­eral govts against baux­ite min­ing in Se­matan/Lundu

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LUNDU: Both the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and state gov­ern­ment are united in their stand against baux­ite min­ing in Se­matan/Lundu area.

On the state’s side, Chief Min­is­ter Datuk Amar Abang Jo­hari Tun Openg had promised Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Wan Ju­naidi Tuanku Jaa­far that the state gov­ern­ment would not is­sue any li­cence for the prospect­ing as well as min­ing of baux­ite in the area.

On be­half of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, Wan Ju­naidi said he would not is­sue any Ap­proved Per­mit (AP) for ex­port of the clayey rock which is the chief com­mer­cial ore of alu­minium. Pe­rigi and Segam­bal in Se­matan/Lundu area are be­lieved to have large quan­ti­ties of baux­ite, re­sult­ing in a com­pany’s at­tempt to do prospect­ing there.

This has raised con­cern among the vil­lagers of Pe­rigi who have ap­proached and in­formed Wan Ju­naidi of their ob­jec­tion to baux­ite min­ing within the vicin­ity of their vil­lage.

“They ap­proached me and asked me to help. So I told the com­pany that I would not al­low them to do prospect­ing or min­ing here be­cause we don’t want to de­stroy our en­vi­ron­ment. The peo­ple from this com­pany said I had no au­thor­ity to stop them. They for­got I do have the au­thor­ity not to is­sue any AP which is needed to ex­port the baux­ite though I might not have the power to stop them from prospect­ing or min­ing.

“The is­sue of AP for baux­ite ex­port is in the hands of the Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry. With­out the AP, no one can ex­port the baux­ite. They can mine but they can’t ex­port,” Wan Ju­naidi told The Bor­neo Post when asked for fur­ther clar­i­fi­ca­tion on the is­sue yes­ter­day.

Wan Ju­naidi fur­ther re­vealed that just re­cently, he briefed Abang Jo­hari, who is the state’s Re­source Plan­ning and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter, on the is­sue.

“He (Abang Jo­hari) gave me the as­sur­ance that he would not al­low any baux­ite min­ing in Se­matan/ Lundu area as the place will be de­vel­oped into a tourist cen­tre of Sarawak and no li­cence would be is­sued even for prospect­ing,” said Wan Ju­naidi.

Dur­ing the Lundu Chi­nese New Year Cel­e­bra­tion held at Lundu Chung Hua Hall on Wed­nes­day evening, Wan Ju­naidi af­firmed that he would not al­low any prospect­ing or min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to be held in Se­matan/Lundu area. “We don’t want our place to be dirty. We want the place to be nice and beau­ti­ful,” he as­sured.

At the cel­e­bra­tion that was sup­ported by all 59 as­so­ci­a­tions and guilds from the area, Wan Ju­naidi also an­nounced that the gov­ern­ment had agreed to give a piece of land ad­ja­cent to the town to be used as Chi­nese ceme­tery.

“The Chi­nese lo­cal lead­ers here had come to me and re­quested that the piece of land be used as a ceme­tery. Since the land owner was will­ing to sell and Se­cond Re­source Plan­ning and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Datuk Amar Awang Ten­gah Ali Hasan has ap­proved for the land to be turned into a ceme­tery, now I am telling you that you have what you re­quested. This is what BN does. We help solve prob­lems for the peo­ple,” he said.

On the Tan­jong Datu by-elec­tion, he ex­plained the ab­sence of BN can­di­date Datin Pat­inggi Datuk Amar Jami­lah Anu dur­ing the cam­paign was be­cause she was in mourn­ing.

“Ac­cord­ing to Is­lamic tra­di­tion, a widow whose hus­band has passed away must stay home for four months and 10 days (130 days) un­less there is an emer­gency. She is in the mourn­ing pe­riod and that is why she can’t be with us. Or else, she will be around. She sends her re­gards and asks for your sup­port,” he told the crowd.

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