: The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment lauded the action by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in detaining nine enforcement personnel of the Pahang Land and Mines Office last Thursday for investigation into illegal bauxite mining activities.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said bauxite mining was still being carried out in Pahang, especially at night, despite the government having imposed a moratorium to temporarily suspend bauxite mining following the issue on environmental pollution.
He said since the ministry did not have its own enforcement agency, it needed the cooperation of other agencies like the police and the MACC to address the problem.
"At the ministry level, we will monitor and investigate, if there are companies with AP (approved permit) involved in illegal bauxite mining, we will revoke their permits," he told reporters when met after presenting contributions of essential items to local residents at the Surau Darul Hijrah, Taman Impian, Bandar Baru Samariang, here.
The moratorium on bauxite mining in Pahang was issued in January last year and had been extended several times, with the latest until Dec 31 this year.
During the duration of the moratorium, the industry is required to empty the bauxite stockpile, create a joint reserve area and set up a cleaning system for the mineral waste.
Wan Junaidi said although the moratorium had been extended several times, the bauxite stockpile at the mining area was still substantial at an estimated 4.8 million metric tonnes.
He said this showed that the industry was still not fully cooperating, and appeared not to be interested in managing their stockpile, and if this continued, with the illegal mining still going on, the ministry had no choice but to extend the moratorium further.