The issue of gold mining operations near Bukit Koman, Raub which suddenly starting to become national attention is nothing but an Opposition political-ploy, taking advantage between two rival business group for the lucrative gold mining operations. The gold mining operations in the area is nothing new but lately, it has been highlighted with an environmental hazard overtone.
The issue is just another trumped up scare, by manipulation of sentiments based on unsubstantiated facts. Since Bukit Koman is a Chinese majority area and the MP is an MCA Wanita Head, DAP is taking the charge to instigate the rakyat and using the Chinese sentiment for a political-score.
Menteri Besar Pahang Dato’ Seri Adnan Yaakob’s take on the Bukit Koman story:
The Opposition using their NGO arms tried to gather the locals for a ‘Himpunan HIjau’ demonstration, designed as an ‘environmental pressure’ but actually a cover up political move. Like usual, they would use ‘environmental hazard’ overtones to create the Bukit-Koman-scare, similar to the Lynas-scare. However, Raub rolcal residents are not fazed with these circus attempts since gold mining is not new to them.
Malaysiakini’s report of the demonstration today in Raub:
Organisers say gold mining firm had cold feet
Koh Jun Lin & Lee Long Hui • Sep 2, 12 7:42PTG
Organisers of Himpunan Hijau Raub rally today have expressed disappointment at Raub Australian Gold Mine (RAGM) Sdn Bhd over their failure to send high-ranking officials to receive their protest note.
“If this is a sincere listed company, why don’t they dare to face us?”, asked Himpunan Hijau Raub leader Wong Kin Hoong at a press conference after the rally.
The committee and Raub OCPD Wan Mohd Samsudin Wan Osman had previously signed an agreement last Tuesday, spelling out the conditions of the rally.
One of the conditions was that as a compromise for not marching to RAGM’s gold mine, a management-level representative would be sent to receive the group’s memorandum.
Instead, the representatives were nowhere to be seen by 4pm, prompting organisers to call for a march to RAGB.
Samsudin stopped the protesters about 500m from the field where they had initially gathered, saying that the representatives are on their way.
However, when the two representatives arrived, one introduced himself as the company’s chief of security (picture below, left) and the other as a designer.
MB and MP also absent
After an argument with the dissatisfied organisers, the duo left in a hurry while Samsudin agreed to hand over the memorandum to the company officials instead.
This concluded the rally and protesters began to disperse.
Asked whether the committee felt cheated, Himpunan Hijau Raub secretary Chong Pui Har said: “Maybe they (the police) were also cheated by the gold mining company.”
When contacted, RAGM chairperson and CEO Andrew Kam Tai Yeow declined comment.
Other than RAGM representatives, others invited guests who did not attend the rally were Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob and Raub MP Dr Ng Yen Yen.
Asked to comment on the two politicians, Wong gave a curt reply: “(We) wish them all the best.”
Organisers of the rally estimated that there were 15,000 participants at the rally, but Malaysiakini journalists puts the number at 10,000.
Cops just wants to preserve the peace
Meanwhile at a separate press conference, a jovial Samsudin (right) told reporters that he would be handing a memorandum to RAGM as part of his duties to preserve peace.
To a question, he opined that the rally today was lawful.
However when asked he did not discount the possibility to initiating investigations against the rally organisers for marching on the streets.
He also said that some 300 police officers were deployed today for today’s rally, most of them to direct traffic.
Ask for his estimate for the crowd size, Samsudin turned towards one of his officers who replied “8,000”.
Turning his attention back to the press later, Samsudin said: “For the police, the figure is not an issue”.
“The important thing is that our job is to maintain the peace during peaceful assemblies, which is allowed by the government under Act 736 – the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.”
The fact is that from eyewitness, no more than 5,000 persons attended the one hour demonstration in Raub this afternoon. Of that, only 300 of them are Malays, believed to be PAS supporters from their kopiah that they wear. The rest are Non Malays, particularly Chinese. Of the Chinese who attended, only 400-500 are believed to be local Raub residents.
It is clear that DAP brought the so called ‘green activists’ for the ‘Himpunan Hijau’ demonstration in Raub today. Just like the one in Kuantan in May. Majority of them where ‘imported’ demonstrators, who are supporting anything that DAP trying to champion and in the same course, belittle the Malay led Federal Government.
Had any business or industrial something like this appear in Penang or any of the DAP controlled area within Selangor, one would not see the same group present in their demonstration for such projects.
Another clear example of this is the current ‘Hauntings in Pengerang’. When RAPID project first appeared, PAS undertook the responsibility to instigate the Pengerang Malays to reject the project. However, they failed miserably. In a nutshell, majority of Pengerang folks wanted development be brought into the backwater district which is so close to high growth economic area within the region.
So PKR came in with their ‘Lynas-scare’ activists. Where else, DAP instigated the local Pengerang Chinese to make a lot of issues from the Chinese cemeteries relocation. They are believed to be backing the group which has taken the RAPID project to court.
Royal Australian Gold Mine Sdn Bhd (RAGM), a company aligned to Dato’ Andrew Kam, already obtained all necessary EIA approval before the operations commenced. Just like Lynas, the Opposition have nothing substantial or scientific to hold against RAGM but sentiments and manipulation of facts to charged against the sentiments of the coal Bukit Koman residents.