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MCA to picket if Raub mine is unsafe

 | July 6, 2012

Dr Chua says the demo is on if experts give the mining company a fail grade.

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA will join Bukit Koman residents in a demonstration against Raub Australian Gold Mining Sdn Bhd if it fails to meet safety standards in its activities.

Party president Dr Chua Soi Lek made this pledge in an interview with FMT following MCA’s recent agreement with the Pahang Raub Ban Cyanide Gold Mining Committee (JBMPC) to take several steps to ascertain the safety of using cyanide to extract the precious metal from fine rocks.

MCA inked its agreement with JBMPC at a meeting last Monday night. One of the points of agreement was that both sides would appoint experts to a panel that will be given free rein to inspect the mine.

Chua said MCA would “hold a demonstration together with the villagers” of Bukit Koman should the company fail to meet the safety criteria set by the experts.

However, he could not say when the inspections would begin or how long the task would take.

“I do not know when this will happen,” he said. “But they will be sent there because all we want is to find out the truth to see if this is really detrimental to the environment and the health of the people there or is it just hot air and statements made based on emotions.”

A China Press report quoting Chua indicated that the inspection panel would comprise only two experts, one from MCA and one from JBMPC. Apparently, MCA has already appointed its expert, who would charge the party US$1,000 for each hour of service.

Chua said he was not sure whether the villagers would accept the opinion of the experts.

“I don’t know how they will respond,” he said, “because people are emotional when it comes to something like this.”

Asked if MCA representatives would be visiting the mine, he said the party was waiting for the experts to set up safety parameters.

At Monday’s meeting, Chua was accompanied by his deputy, Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai and Raub MP Ng Yen Yen, who is MCA Wanita chief.

Liow agreed to deploy a medical team to perform detailed checkups on the villagers to ascertain their health.

It was also agreed that permanent round-the-clock air quality monitoring devices would be installed around the gold mine and that the recording process will be witnessed by both sides.

Another point of agreement was that underground water in the area would be tested regularly and the results of both air and water monitoring would be published.

Also read:

Bukit Koman mining: Why the mystery?


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