PETALING JAYA: A group of Orang Asli will file a complaint to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in Temerloh on the allegations of illegal mining in Kuala Koh.
The Pahang Orang Asli Village Network and Association of Continuous Development Chain said they visited the Orang Asli Kampung Kuala Koh and found that the mining activities were harming the environment.
“We visited the village and found that the mining activities did not follow the safety and health regulations as well as not care for the environment.
“The impact of the ground works pollutes the water sources and water ponds.
“We want MACC Temerloh to investigate if there are illegal activities in the mines which could have caused the tragedy of the Orang Asli of Kampung Kuala Koh in line with the United Nations’ conventions on the rights of indigenous people,” said the statement issued by the NGOs.
Among the listed conventions are Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Shafie Idris, Ismail Mohamed and Batin Ong Cong of the Pahang Orang Asli Village Network and Muhammad Sha’ani Abdulllah of the Association of Continuous Development Chain signed the statement.
On Sunday, Deputy Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji said the government would close down the mine that was believed to have put the lives of the Bateq people at risk.
The Bateq community in Kuala Koh has been in the news since 14 deaths in the last month, allegedly due to contaminated water from the illegal mining near their water sources.
Two of the deaths have been confirmed to be from pneumonia while authorities are now working with the community to find the 12 graves in the jungle and exhume the bodies for post-mortem.
Tengku Zulpuri revealed that the operators were mining manganese in Aring, Kuala Koh, illegally as their licence from the Federal Government expired in 2017.
“They have a mining licence from the state ... but they need both licences to continue operations,” he said on Sunday.