The Cabinet decided to suspend the bauxite mining activities temporarily in Kuantan, Pahang due to serious environmental issues.
According to a report by Utusan Online today, the Cabinet decided to halt any mining activities after noticing drastic changes in the environment when nearby rivers and the sea starting to turn red due to the contamination.
In the report, following the suspension, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai was quoted as saying that they will review the method of transport for carrying bauxite following the decision of the Cabinet.
“A thorough study will be conducted involving land and sea transportation to find the best way to prevent recurring contamination due to mining of bauxite.
“We know this is an issue that should be studied in terms of sustainable mining methods, because if we continue the current method, the environment will continue to be polluted.
“That is why we study not only in terms of mining aspect but also transportation for this refined bauxite which are light and easily disseminated, turning the affected area red.
“This means not only the trucks involved in carrying the bauxite, but also the ships which are transporting the bauxite, have to be reviewed as well,” he said as quoted in the report.
Earlier, The Rakyat Post reported that Gabungan Badan Bertindak Menentang Bauksit (GBBMB) had issued a memorandum urging Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob to either announce a moratorium on the activity or resign from his post if no action being taken.
In the memorandum, which was shared by Kuantan Member of Parliament Fuziah Salleh on her Facebook page, it was stated that the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry had agreed to suspend export licences, but a decision was pending by the MB on the matter.
The issue surrounding bauxite mining has led to Kuantan residents rising up in protest as heavy rainfall have led to bauxite dust cause the nearby waters to turn red in colour.