KUANTAN: A resident of Kampung Felda Bukit Goh is determined not to lease her land for bauxite mining despite getting an offer of RM1mil as payment.
Salwani Tajuddin, 37, said even though many of the villagers had become “instant millionaires” after leasing their land, their lives seemed to be listless.
"Indeed some of them have led a life of luxury after receiving high deposits from bauxite operators but the money can only last for a while and they have to wait a long time to get their returns from bauxite mining.
"There are settlers who are now forced to be security guards as their money is already spent, and their oil palm land cleared for mining," she told Bernama.
Salwani said early last year, she was approached by a man who offered her a deposit of half a million ringgit to mine bauxite in her four-hectare oil palm plantation, which she rejected.
She said the man, however, came back a few days later to offer a higher amount of RM1mil.
"After I turn down the RM1mil offer, the man was furious and said I was 'stupid' for rejecting that much money.
"But for me, those who lease their land to bauxite operators are the real losers as the money can only last for a while, and their land will not return to its previous condition," she said.
As a settler for the last 18 years, Salwani said she did not want her land to be affected by bauxite mining activities.
She was also approached by the same man a few months later requesting that her land be used as a “stockpile” area for lorries and bauxite ore with a payment of RM5,000 monthy but she turned it down.
Her father Tajuddin Harun, 68, who runs a food stall at the village said bauxite operators did not fulfil their promise to provide a monthly compensation of RM1,000 for every trader and RM500 for every house.
Tajuddin said he only received a compensation of RM1,000 in November.
"Instead, business is affected as not many customers are patronising our stalls due to the dust from the lorries carrying bauxite. And I am forced to fork out RM6,000 to instal this canvas (to cover the stall)," he added. - Bernama