Quarry ops upset orang asli

  • Nation
  • Monday, 20 Sep 2004

SEREMBAN: Residents in the 300-year-old orang asli settlement in Jalan Labu here are crying foul over a quarry operating in the area. 

Village headman Uval Buyong claimed that the 25 families in the village faced a bleak future as the quarry operations was damaging the environment. 

“Since the quarry opened, it has encroached into our ancestral land but we had to accept all these because we are a small community.” 

Uval, 76, said he had repeatedly approached the authorities in an attempt to stop the quarry from operating there but it had been in vain. 

EXPANDING: Uval showing the quarry operations that had encroached into ancestral land.

“I don’t know what else to do. It seems no one cares about our predicament,” he said when met on Saturday.  

According to him, the villagers had to put up with air and noise pollution daily since the quarry began operations in 1993.  

The villagers' livelihood have been affected with yields from their fruit trees stunted, he added. 

He also said dust created by the quarrying was making residents sick. 

“Even my wife is now an asthma patient suffering from acute breathing difficulties,” he said, adding that children in the village often brought up thick phlegm when they coughed. 

The noise from explosives and machinery at the quarry site, he said, was also a nuisance. 

“The operation starts at 7am and sometimes continues into the late evening, and we are expected to bear with it when the schoolchildren can't even concentrate on their studies,” he said. 

Villager Isah Pageh, 73, said she had no choice but to continue staying here. 

“What choice does an old woman like me have? I can only hope all this pollution doesn’t affect my two granddaughters.”  

State Environment and Human Resources Committee chairman Datuk Peter Lai Yit Fee said he would look into the matter immediately.  

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