I hailed from new village and have a special attachment and liking of new villages.
Now there is another village under threat.
- The whole village is filled with foul, pungent smell.
- The nearest house is separated by a road from a mine.
- Just two meters away from toxic chemicals.
- A leakage of this chemical will result a catastrophic disaster.
- Water pollution is another big concern (heavy metal).
Kampong Bukit Koman is a picturesque new village situated at Raub district, Pahang. 400 households are having peaceful and leisure lives. But due to rich in gold of its soils, it brings misfortune to the village.
In 1899, an Australian mining company was operating a gold mine in the area until 1963 when it ceased its operation. In 1997, the Department of Environment approved an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report submitted by Raub Australia Gold Mining Sdn Bhd and issued a permit to operate.
In October 2006, villages discovered the state government had quietly issued a license to the company to use Cyanide in its gold mining operation.
They appealed to local representatives, state assemblymen, member of parliament of the ruling parties, and even to the Mentri Besar to stop the operation which will endanger the health of villagers, but to no avail. All of them siding the company by saying all are legal, all are in line with the law, all are following the specifications, all are safe.
The villages has no choice but to form their own committee to take up the issue and save themselves. In March 2008, it filed an application for a judicial review at the High Court on the decision by the Director-General of Environment which approved the EIA for the mining operation in Bukit Koman.
After more than a year's waiting, the High Court ruled on 1/6/09 dismissed their application on grounds that the application was out of time (too late). They should have applied within the stipulated period of 40 days after the presentation of the EIA. The court also cannot force the company to make a DEIA now as the time frame had elapsed.
In February this year, after Chinese New Year, the company started its mining operation with Cyanide. The whole village filled with foul chemical smell, many villages feeling nausea, vomiting, headache and not feeling well. The village became a toxic place.
They have approached for help from Mentri Besar, MCA state and parliament representatives, including Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai, former Minister Chan Kong Chai, and Ng Yen Yen, herself is the Member of Parliament of Raub and federal minister.
All of them are supporters of the mining company and insisting on the operation is safe. The villagers challenged them to come for a brief stay at the village to see and feel themselves. So far no taker, no response from them, not even set feet on the village. May be they are feeling safer and comfortable in their own shells.
From the way things moved, the media, especially newspapers, are restrained from wider coverage on this subject. So far none of the MCA ministers concerned (especially from Pahang) has not make any stand on this issue.
Looks like the villagers of Kampong Bukit Koman has to rely on themselves on this issue.
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- 水源污染，更令人担心 (重金属）。
他们（执政者，政客及部长）都说很安全，因为矿场运作都是符合规格及安全指南。但村民挑战黄燕燕及卫生部长廖中来，“ 请到本村小住几天 ”，不住也行，至少也亲身来看看吧！
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