KUCHING – Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said today the government has allowed Approved Permit(APs) to be released for the export of bauxite.
“I have talked to my ministry’s secretary-general and others to facilitate this as soon as possible.
“We have stopped the bauxite mining. But we need to allow the export of nearly 70,000 tonnes from the stockpile.
“The time frame is within one month from now,” he told the media after presenting financial aid totalling RM108,300 for various projects in his Santubong parliamentary constituency here.
However, he said he was prepared to be flexible on the timeframe.
Wan Junaidi meanwhile reminded those affected in cleaning areas and roads with bauxite spillover not to flush the resulting sludge into rivers.
“This can cause the water to turn red and even toxic again,” he said.
According to him, the on-going cleaning was done by the Public Works Department and the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government through Alam Flora.
Wan Junaidi added he had also requested Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tong Lai to instruct Kuantan Port to do its own proper cleaning.
“The port, seen as the main contributor to the red water situation in the affected rivers and sea has been lukewarm to my earlier advice.
“Should it require the services of the two government agencies and Alam Flora, it should foot the bill,” he said.
He said the four stockpile areas in its compound should be cleaned as well.
He also hoped the port authority would use only proper barges to transport the mineral from the port to vessels in the open sea.
“These barges should observe their respective tonnage capacity and not to overload by setting up wooden walls at their sides in order to carry greater volume,” he said.
Wan Junaidi said in future should the state government allow bauxite mining to resume, there should be only one central stockpile area allowed with the proper filteration and cleanning facilities.
He also added he had discussions with Felda’s management in the Bukit Goh area where mining, whether legal or otherwise, had taken place in more than 200 hectares belonging to individuals.
“The fact is …out of the 233 families involved, only 62 of them have permission from Felda to get the mining licence from the state government.
“I also want to know of Felda’S future plan on land use in the mined out areas as they are no longer suitable for oil palm cultivation,” he added. – BERNAMA