Pahang to assist MACC confiscate bauxite stockpile

KUANTAN, 14 Aug 2017: 

The Pahang government has no objection to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) confiscating the bauxite stockpile, amounting to over 10 million tonnes.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob yesterday said the MACC  would have solid grounds to take such an action to resolve the issue on illegal bauxite mining in the state.

“Since the moratorium was implemented, everything was controlled by the federal government namely the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry … so let them manage.”

Adnan was commenting on a statement by MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki that  the agency would seize the bauxite stockpile  to prevent anyone from removing the materials for whatever purpose.

Since the beginning of last week, MACC had been actively investigating bauxite mining and conducting special operations – after discovering mining activity was ongoing at Bukit Goh and Bukit Sagu here despite the moratorium being implemented from 15 Jan 2016 and would only expire on Dec 31.

On a related matter,  Adnan  said there was no connection between the arrest of 10 Pahang Land and Mine Office (PTG) personnel by MACC for investigation into illegal bauxite mining activities  and the department not signing the Corruption-Free Pledge (IBR).

“The IBR is still new and we (the state government) have just signed it. We cannot blame anybody in this matter. I hope after the state government has signed the IBR, other agencies will follow. But do not link the MACC investigation with the PTG not signing the IBR.”

On Aug 3, Pahang MACC director Datuk Alias ​​Salim confirmed the Pahang PTG had yet to sign the IBR, and the statement was issued when the PTG personnel were arrested for their alleged involvement in bribery to protect illegal bauxite miners.

Separately, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry (NRE) is totally committed to and will continue to offer full cooperation to MACC on the investigation of the illegal mining of bauxite in Pahang.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the ministry would not entertain any appeals or requests to interfere with MACC’s ongoing investigations.

“NRE fully and unequivocally supports the action taken by the MACC in seizing the stockpile of bauxite to further facilitate their investigation into the illegal mining of bauxite,” he said in a statement.

Wan Junaidi said the moratorium was imposed by the government in January last year to bauxite operators and company owners who had been granted special export permits to stop operation of bauxite mining in the state and were ordered to clear the existing stockpiles.

However, he said the instruction was not adhered to despite numerous reminders by the ministry via phone contact and through the media.

– Bernama

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