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Environmentalist questions impact of Malaysia-India sand deals

 | August 9, 2017

The Indian states in question say they want to conserve their natural resources, but what about Malaysia's own resources, asks Cetdem's Anthony Tan.

Anthony Tan Kee Huat, executive director of the Centre for Environment, Technology and Development Malaysia (Cetdem).

Anthony Tan Kee Huat, executive director of the Centre for Environment, Technology and Development Malaysia (Cetdem).

KUALA LUMPUR: An environmentalist has questioned the impact of reported deals between Malaysian firms and two states in India regarding the import of river sand for construction activities.

Speaking to FMT, Anthony Tan Kee Huat asked whether river dredging in Malaysia would negatively affect the environment and natural resources.

“The report mentioned that the states want to conserve their natural resources. What about conserving our own natural resources?” asked Tan, who is the executive director of the Centre for Environment, Technology and Development Malaysia (Cetdem).

He also questioned the credibility of the two Malaysian companies said to be in negotiations with the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu state governments, asking if they were licensed to explore and dredge river sand here in Malaysia.

He said the government should ensure that there are no corrupt practices involved in the projects.

According to an industry player who preferred to remain anonymous, there are a few types of sand that cannot be exported unless a licence is issued for that purpose.

“The three types of sand that need a licence for export are silica, quartz and sea sand.

“River sand and sand from mining areas do not fall under the same prohibited export conditions,” said the source.

2 Indian states to import sand from Malaysia


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