KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will come down hard on Pahang’s bauxite mining activities after finding elements of corruption and abuse of power.
The commission said it had received numerous complaints regarding environmental pollution from the uncontrolled bauxite mining in the state.
“Based on the complaints, the MACC has found that there are elements of corruption conducted by certain parties involved in the extraction of bauxite.
“The MACC views this issue seriously and will not hesitate to act against those involved in corruption,” it said in a statement.
Speaking on the same issue, Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob said the commission was welcome to check on why the state was getting less revenue than it should from bauxite mining.
“Let them check. I don’t have to tell. It’s just like the police. When there’s an incident – a robbery – you don’t have to wait for the report. Just go and check,” he said at a joint press conference with Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Wan Jaafar yesterday.
He also said that residents of Kuantan could be assured that the authorities were doing all they could to address the problems related to bauxite mining.
Advising the public to remain calm, he also said the state government was not in denial over the problem.
“We are not playing the blame game. We are doing our best to make sure the welfare of the people at all times must supersede any other benefits, including monetary benefits,” he added.
Adnan also thanked netizens and the public for their suggestions and comments on how to address the problem.
“We respect everybody and all opinions are given consideration. Hopefully within the moratorium period we will come up with a comprehensive plan which can solve this problem,” he said.
Adnan said his door was open to those who were not satisfied with the situation.
“If you have a problem, come and see the MB. I’m not joking, I want to know,” he said.
He pointed out that the Pahang Land and Mines Department (PTG) had only 18 officers, when asked what extra effort was being done to stop illegal mining.
Adnan said he had suggested for the National Security Council to step in like in Cameron Highlands, where it had successfully helped curb illegal cultivation.
Adnan said the state government earned RM46.7mil in royalty from bauxite mining last year, compared with just RM2.4mil in 2014.