Life Above Profit – Ban Cyanide in Gold Mining

A hearing in Federal Court will fall on 6-9-2012 (Thurday), 9:00am at Palace of Justice.

Please come to support us!

Background:
• 13 Jan 1997, DoE approved the PEIA submitted by RAGM without the residents’ knowledge.
• 4 Dec 2006, residents learned about the usage of cyanide in the nearby gold mine and formed the “Bukit Koman Action Committee Against the Use of Cyanide in Mining of Gold” (Committee).
• October 2007, after various effort and attempts, the residents finally got hold of the PEIA and appointed experts to review the documents.
• 21 March 2008, the Committee through its lawyers filed an application for leave for judicial review to request among others the following:
a) The setting aside of the approval of the PEIA given on 13-1-1997 by the Director General (DG) of the DoE;
b) The setting aside of the DG’s decision that a Detailed EIA is not necessary;
c) Submission of a fresh DEIA by RAGM including the requirement for public participation.
• 1 June 2009, High Court dismissed the application with no order as to costs on the ground: “The application for leave for judicial review should have been brought within 40 days from the date of the approval of the PEIA or the date the villagers knew about the approval of the PEIA.”
• On 3August 2011, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court decision in holding that the residents were out of time in seeking for leave for judicial review (the decision). The appeal was dismissed with no order as to costs.
• On 7 August 2011, the villagers decided to appeal to the Federal Court.
• On 11 Jan 2012, a three-man Federal Court panel chaired by the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum allowed the residents’ application for leave to appeal against the High Court’s decision. The appeal will be heard by the Federal Court on 6 September 2012.

Ban Cyanide in Gold Mining FB

 

More than 10,000 at Raub protest: Najib can’t even manage Pahang, what more M’sia?

More than 10,000 people began a march from the Raub sports complex in Pahang to the nearby Bukit Koman goldmine they alleged has been using cyanide to the detriment of their health.

The huge size of the crowd, which gathered spontaneously and voluntarily, signals the strength of public unhappiness at the manner in which Prime Minister Najib Razak has been accused of allowing hazardous industries to mushroom, even in his home state.

“The issue here is the use of cyanide and this complaint has been going on since 2007. There are now 2 major hotspots in Pahang that Naib must stand accountable for – the Lynas rare earth refinery and the Bukt Koman goldmine. If he cannot manage his own home state, no wonder the federal government and the economy are going to the dogs,” PKR MP for Kuantan Fuziah Salleh told Malaysia Chronicle.

Deaf ears

Raub residents have been opposing the Raub Australia Gold Mining Sdn Bhd since 2007, even before the company began operations, but their lawsuits and appeals to Najib’s BN government fell on deaf ears.

Fearing the miner’s use of cyanide in its processes would affect their health, they have been organizing various protests culminating in Sunday’s rally, where representatives from the goldmine were due to receive their memorandum of complaint.

However, after waiting for hours, no officer from the Raub Australia Gold Mining Sdn Bhd showed up, prompting the crowd to burst through a police cordon and attempt to march about a kilometre to the Buikt Koman mine. About 300 cops were on duty at the Raub sports complex.

Visibly upset and emotional, the crowd shouted ‘Ban Cyanide’ as they walked. But before they could reach the mine, the police with two junior Raub Australia reps in tow intercepted the organizers at the head of the procession.

The rally leaders agreed to stop the march and disperse the crowd after one copy of the memo was handed over to the reps and another to Raub district police chief Wan Mohd Samsudin Wan Osman for his onward transmission to the mine’s president.

“Is it wrong for us to demand green policies? We don’t think so. It is the corrupted and incompetent government policies that are wrong,” said Wong Kin Hoong, head of the Ban Cyanide committee which organized the protest.

Severe skin ailments as Pahang becomes a “dump site”

Many of Raub’s residents believe they are suffering ailments as a result of exposure to cyanide-laced fumes from the goldmine. Several ‘victims’ shared their experiences with the crowd that had begun gathering around 1pm for the latest Himpunan Hijau or Green Rally.

“It has been two years of suffering,” said 62-year-old Chin Thian Hee, showing the crowd her bag containing various medication. Another resident Woon Soon Fatt said he had spent RM10,000 on medical expenses for his family of six who have been suffering severe skin problems.

In Gebeng, the residents there with help of ‘green’ activists have also mounted several huge rallies to pressure Najib’s government to reverse its approval for a RM700mil rare earth plant.

PAS environmental bureau chief Zulkifli Mohd Omar, who was also present in Raub, blamed both the Pahang state government led by Adnan Yaakob and Najib’s federal government for turning their backs on the Gebeng and Bukit Koman residents.

“Pahang has become a dump site. We have radioactive waste in Gebeng, toxic waste in Raub, and now even Tasik Chini is threatened.”

Yen Yen missing in action: Are the people really so dumb?

Meanwhile, Najib’s BN coalition have fought back, accusing the Green Rallies of being staged for political motives. MCA MP for Raub Ng Yen Yen was nowhere in sight during the entire afternoon. However, BN workers have put up several banners to criticise the protest.

…more
More than 10,000 at Raub protest: Najib can’t even manage Pahang, what more M’sia?
3 September 2012 – Malaysia Chronicle


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