Bauxite mining SOP also under purview of two ministries, not just Pahang govt alone, say sources

KUANTAN: Although Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh has claimed that the bauxite mining standard operating procedure (SOP) falls under the Pahang government, checks have shown otherwise.

Sources from both the federal and state governments have clarified that the SOP was indeed under the jurisdiction of the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry.

A source from the ministry said the SOP was being handled on their end with input from the Pahang government and the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry as well.

Another source from the Pahang government confirmed the same, saying that the SOP had yet to be finalised by the ministry and to say that the state government was responsible for drafting it was totally wrong.

On Friday, Fuziah claimed that Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar's announcement that the moratorium would be lifted next month was actually subject to conditions.

She claimed that the matter had been discussed in the Cabinet and the decision was that the moratorium would only be lifted provided that the SOP was satisfactory.

However, Fuziah said the SOP was actually prepared by the Pahang government as mining, transportation, storage and export of the ore were all under its jurisdiction.

The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department also claimed that the state government had not submitted any environmental impact assessment (EIA).

Fuziah also said that former minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar had previously proposed the removal of the minimum bauxite mine hectarage, which meant all mines must have EIA done but the state government had not amended the relevant enactment to comply.

She doubted that mining could restart next month as there were outstanding issues that had to be ironed out by the state government.

"They did not submit the EIA and they did not amend the law. Technically, we cannot lift the moratorium because they can start issuing mining licences again," Fuziah said.

She was responding to Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker's video, in which the MCA vice-president asserted that Fuziah was kept in the dark on an issue that was going to affect her constituents directly.