Muhammad Sanusi told to explain REE mine trip

JITRA: Caretaker Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor has been urged to explain his visit to Bukit Enggang Forest Reserve, Sik on Feb 19, which is believed to be the location where illegal mining activities of rare earth elements (REE) were conducted.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail wanted an explanation following the disclosure of several photographs of the alleged visit.

Saifuddin Nasution said the situation raised serious concerns about the issue of transparency and accountability of the leader.

He also questioned the lack of investigation papers opened related to the illegal mining activities despite having the Kedah Land and Mines Office director (Datuk Md Shumaime Abdul Rahmah) as a member of the Menteri Besar Incorporated board of advisers.

“He (Md Shumaime) is also a member of the state Mineral Resources Committee which is the authority responsible for investigating matters related to the Mineral (Kedah) Enactment 2004. The effects of illegal mining and REE theft go beyond environmental concerns.

“It has a huge economic risk. It is important that those entrusted with the responsibility of upholding the law take decisive action to protect natural resources,” he said yesterday.

Saifuddin Nasution claimed that Muhammad Sanusi knew all about the REE operations there and urged the Kedah Mentri Besar to give an explanation, including on the involvement of a missing Chinese national. — Bernama

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