Raub Australian Gold Mining claims that anti-cyanide committee does not represent all the residents of Bukit Koman.
The Bukit Koman mining company has also refused to meet the committee on the grounds that they have instituted legal proceedings against them.
In an 18-point letter to the committee, RAGM also listed various other reasons to their non-attendance to meeting scheduled to take place yesterday.
One of them being the following: “…previous and/or recent press articles have confirmed that the views of your committee do not form the majority view of the residents of Bukit Koman.”
“ Recent articles appear to have quoted residents of Bukit Koman as saying that you do not have the mandate of the people to represent them. In the (sic) light of the above, we are of the view that it would be inappropriate at this juncture to accept the present invitation you have issued.”
The letter was signed by Richard Lee, general manager of RAGM and the case is scheduled to be heard on Sept 6, 2012.
Pahang Raub Anti Cyanide Gold Mining Committee vice chairman Sherly Hue said RAGM also claimed that a majority of Bukit Koman residents have no problems with the mine being in operation.
“They (RAGM) said that the people have welcomed them because of donations, scholarships and also various carnivals held to celebrate various festivities. While they may have given the donations, this doesn’t have to mean that the people agree and support them,” she said.
Hue was referring to point 7 of the letter which stated, “As you may have read from various major newspapers, our project has received tremendous response from the people of Raub as can be seen from the attendance of the people at our previously organised Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali events.”
The letter also claimed that 20,000, 10,000 and 5,000 people were reported to have turned up at their Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali events respectively.
“The significant attendance and support by the people at our events is testimony of the great support that we have from the people of Raub and as such, it is difficult to comprehend that basis upon which your committee seeks to imply that a large majority of people are not in favour of our project at all,” stated the letter from RAGM.
According to Sherly, RAGM has even claimed that they have generated many jobs for the villagers who number a little over 1,000 people. When asked how many villagers work at the mine, Sherly said that it was less than 10 people.
RAGM had also informed the committee that the Jawatankuasa Kemajuan dan Keselamatan Kampung Bukit Koman (JKKK) had on July 12 2007 given a letter of no objection and support for the project in using the Carbon-In-Leach technology which is known to be safe.
However committee secretary Hue Fui How said that the JKKK itself was a political tool, created by MCA with its appointees. Hue also claimed that some villagers were paid to discredit the committee.
“We found out that four villagers were paid RM1,000 each to say that the committee does not represent the views of all the villagers,” claimed Hue.
“Out of the four, three are drug addicts. RAGM says that the committee does not have the mandate to represent all the residents but the JKKK doesn’t represent anyone in Kampung Bukit Koman. MCA appointed JKKK as their representative.
“We had asked MCA who is the JKKK representative in Bukit Koman and no one knows. In comparison, everyone knows who the chairman of our committee is.
“When JKKK gave RAGM the letter in 2007, operations hadn’t resumed yet. The problems only began when the mine began operating in 2009. So of course RAGM would have been given this letter of no objection by JKKK,” added Hue.