Minister: Pahang Bauxite Clean-Up Progressing Satisfactorily, New Regs Coming Soon

Minister: Pahang Bauxite Clean-Up Progressing Satisfactorily, New Regs Coming Soon
Panuba Bay, Tioman Island, Pahang, Malaysia. 3 October 2006. Source: Wikimedia

Malaysia’s Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar briefed the press on Friday after meeting with Pahang officials and discussing the state of the bauxite clean-up in the Kuantan area.

“I am happy with the progress of the bauxite clearing but it is far from done,” Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said Friday. He went on to detail the fact that 1.5 million metric tons of bauxite had been removed from the port, with 1.4 million metric tons remaining.

“I am happy with it so far. The only thing left is the cleanliness of the port. It isn’t at its best condition just yet. However, this does not mean that we have failed. It is just unfinished.”

The minister indicated that a possible extension of the three-month bauxite moratorium would be decided upon after his subsequent visit to the area.

“I will visit again at the end of March before the end of the moratorium to judge for myself,” said Wan Junaidi. “If I am unsatisfied, I will bring it to Cabinet to decide.”

Wan Junaidi indicated that the remaining 1.4 million metric tons of bauxite may not be removed by the moratorium’s end on April 15.

“I cannot disagree (that it will not be cleaned on time), we had some technical hitches. And then during Chinese New Year, no ships from China came and all Chinese workers stopped work,” he said. “There should be no more interruptions such as Chinese New Year breaks and hitches from now till the end of the moratorium. So everything should go smoothly hereon.”

Wan Junaidi said that new regulations for the country’s bauxite industry were decided upon by the ministry after a workshop on the subject one month ago.

“These procedures will cover all aspects including management of extraction areas, transport, stockpile management, and Export Permit (AP) procedures,” said Wan Junaidi.