Illicit Bauxite Miners Face Tougher Enforcement Measures: Malaysia’s Mines Minister

Illicit Bauxite Miners Face Tougher Enforcement Measures: Malaysia’s Mines Minister

Malaysia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment praised the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) late last week for its apprehension of nine enforcement agents of the Pahang Land and Mines Office who are suspected of corruption in relation to the illicit bauxite mining that is continuing in the region.

Recognizing the continuing illegal mining still being carried out in Pahang, Mines Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said that help from outside agencies was needed in order to properly address the problem.

“At the ministry level, we will monitor and investigate, if there are companies with AP (approved permit) involved in illegal bauxite mining, we will revoke their permits,” he explained.

Wan Junaidi went on to say that the stockpile now totals 4.8 million metric tons, noting that miners have been less than cooperative in clearing the stockpile. He said that a continued lack of cooperation would only extend the moratorium further.

Truck Drivers Moving Illegal Bauxite Put On Notice

In addition to corruption enforcement, the federal government announced yesterday that truck drivers who were found to be transporting bauxite without the necessary permit are likely to face prosecution including loss of their license.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai told local media that such matters fell under the purview of Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

“We can discuss and instruct SPAD to take action against the errant lorry drivers as the government has issued a moratorium which allows only bauxite from the stockpile to be taken to the port,” he explained.

“That is why we asked the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) to investigate for any wrongdoing in the bauxite mining activities.”

Liow went on to say that the Road Transport Department will step up monitoring. According to MACC, discovering truck drivers transporting newly-mined bauxite is what led to the detention of the Pahang Land and Mines Office agents mentioned above.