KOTA KINABALU: Merotai state assemblyman Sarifuddin Hata has lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) regarding the gold mining operations in Bukit Balung Tawau.
In response to the discovery that the gold mining activities were being conducted without the necessary approvals from the Department of Minerals and Geosciences Malaysia (JMG), Sarifuddin submitted the report as per the instructions of the Speaker of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly.
“Due to the ongoing investigation by the MACC, the specific details of the report cannot be disclosed to the public, Sabah News Today quoted him as saying here today.
During the recent State Legislative Assembly meeting, Sarifuddin raised this issue, and the Speaker of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly, Datuk Seri Panglima Kadzim M. Yahya, recommended filing an MACC report to facilitate a thorough investigation by the relevant authorities.
“The public has expressed significant concern over this matter, particularly regarding land stability and environmental pollution, which poses a threat to the safety of the area.
“This has sparked widespread discussions among the population,” he said.
Sarifuddin said that it is worth questioning whether the state government permits mining activities without obtaining permission from the Sabah Land and Survey Department (JTU) and without adhering to the requirements of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA) under the Operational Mining Scheme (OMS).
The fact that the Gagasan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government allowed Wullersdorf to conduct mining activities without conducting an environmental impact assessment further raises concerns, he added,
“I recommend that there be an official statement from the state government to make an announcement that other mining companies do not carry out environmental impact studies and then immediately terminate the services of JMG and the Department of Environmental Protection because the role of this department is ignored by them,” explained Sarifuddin.
Sarifuddin added that he personally agreed with the suggestion of the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, that he wanted more responsibility to be given to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, including direct monitoring of the MACC, which is the best step to have to report directly to the Istana Negara rather than Parliament to fight corruption.