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Sakmongkol ak 47

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Let Us Not Forget about Bukit Koman Raub. (1)

The first time I heard of the use of cyanide as extracting agent for gold was in 2005. The matter was raised in the Pahang state assembly by a representative not from RAUb but from another area. In the 4 years I was in the State Assembly, not a single representative from Raub raised this matter. We only knew it as poison before. When we watched some spy thrillers, the spy caught swallowed cyanide pill rather than being interrogated and exposing their work.
Cyanide kills!
The rep spoke about health hazards arising from the use of cyanide. People are contracting incurable skin diseases, eye infections and a host of discomforting, seemingly permanent ailments. The matter was typically ignored as being not so important. The exco in charge of health did not respond adequately to the question raised.
Why was it ignored and why did it fail to attract the needed attention? As I looked at the issue, the cause of official apathy is this. The Cyanide using gold mine in Bukit Koman is largely seen as a localized Chinese issue, raised by Chinese activists in defiance against a Malay dominated government. UMNO and BN have cleverly structured the issue as such. That is why; the issue wasn’t gaining much traction among the Malay communities in Raub.
People will come telling you of anecdotes about the grandfathers and grandmothers, aunties and uncles living in Raub unaffected by this issue. Raub has historically been a gold mining area as do other parts of Pahang such as Penjom and so on.  So how come the people there did not suffer from any health hazards come the normal rebuttals.  because they did not use cyanide or if there had been health issues they were treated as acts of nature. We didn't have historical records on  the health conditions of the workers in the mines back then.
Response to the issue was further restrained because of the identity of the company doing the gold mine. It’s a company controlled by a powerful scion of a former MCA leader and having on its board powerful shareholders from the Royal Family of Pahang. The company was simply seen as unassailable because of the driving forces inside the company.
As a result any objections from a social point of view or value-free technical and medical objections were pushed aside in favour of ‘practical commercial reasons’. We cannot touch the company because its powerful. The government can always produce opposing medical assessments to rebut the issue.
The primary question is, do you want to solve this problem or not instead of debating the issue endlessly while real people suffer from real health hazards? It’s a question of political will. MCA did not have the political will. UMNO wasn’t adequately made interested.
Do we wait until it becomes a wider social issue involving the whole of Raub and people start dying and suffering like people around the Gold Mine in Buyat Sulawesi prompting us to only then take action?
Which makes the Bukit Koman issue what? It is essentially a case where a powerful elite comprising of powerful business people and powerful social elite collude to impose its will on a powerless and voiceless group of people. It’s simply a case of an oligarchy bullying and pummeling a powerless section of the community. From that day onwards, Bukit Koman was treated as a leper.
People who suffer from Leprosy are real people with real ailments but shunned by society. That is what happened to the residents of Bukit Koman.
What are the startling facts hitherto largely ignored by politicians and knowledge deficient government controlled media?
Some 50% of the residents suffered from skin diseases and eye irritations while another 40% experienced incessant coughing spells. Also discovered were eight cases of cancer among the respondents and that 35% of those interviewed suffered from such complaints as giddiness and lethargy. These are not isolated cases but occur on a sizable portion of the community as to raise alarm bells.

If anyone goes into the Bukit Koman Village, they can’t help but suffer shock at seeing a mining behemoth right in the centre of the village. It’s an eerie feeling. You don’t see birds or signs of animal life there. Residents tell of stories told by workers in the factory that there are no flies or birds inside the mine. They believed that’s caused by the high  level of toxicity in the air brought about by the use of cyanide up to 1.5 tons a day.
The same toxic environment is seen as the primary case for the health hazards to the people. The 300 or so families in the village of Bukit KOman live in clear and present danger. The cause for this danger is a revived gold mine barely a few hundred metres from the Bukit Koman village.
But Lets put this case in perspective. The people of Bukit KOman are not against the operation of a gold mine in their village. They oppose the use of cyanide that places the whole village in harm's way. 
To becontinued….


OneMalaysian,  10 April 2013 at 09:56  

Dear Sakmongkol

“It is essentially a case where a powerful elite comprising of powerful business people and powerful social elite collude to impose its will on a powerless and voiceless group of people.”

That is what this UMNO/BN government has evolved to be: the protector of big, ugly business against the greater interest of society at large. This government no longer cares for ordinary folks except during the election campaign when wads of RM500 are liberally distributed here and there with the sole aim of getting those same reps re-elected to Parliament.

That is why we must do everything to defeat this UMNO/BN government and replace it with one that is more responsive to the needs and aspirations of the ordinary people. Health before wealth; is that so difficult for this UMNO/BN government to understand?

Anonymous,  10 April 2013 at 10:05  

Ha ha ha..

Sak, In think Penjom Gold Mine also use Cyanide, but because the area is big and far from Kampung. The Gold mine have enough safety buffer space to treat the cyanide. They have few (5 pond if no mistake) water treatment pond before releasing water to a river.

That is my 2 cent thought..ha ha ha.

bruno,  10 April 2013 at 12:15  

Dato,in countries where gomens have total control of all public institutions,they always act like judge,jury and executioner.Umno with its running dogs the MCA will surpressed whatever opposition to its money making machine.And MIC as usual have no voice as it is the step child of the BN.

And the MCA knows nuts.If it does not know the difference between gold and granite,we have to wonder if it's president Dr Chua will know the difference between a clam and a pussy.

When gomens surpressed its people for too long,it is just a matter of time before its people woke up from its charms.That is the reason the broom brigade consisting of Felda machiks will stormed Putrajaya this coming election and sweep all the corrupted ministers and cronies into the monsoon drains.

Anonymous,  10 April 2013 at 14:10  

Datuk Sak

Some quotes of democracy.


Phua Kai Lit

“Democracy is not just the right to vote, it is the right to live in dignity.”
― Naomi Klein (Canadian intellectual and activist)

“To view the opposition as dangerous is to misunderstand the basic concepts of democracy. To oppress the opposition is to assault the very foundation of democracy.”
― Aung San Suu Kyi, Letters from Burma

“Being democratic is not enough, a majority cannot turn what is wrong into right. In order to be considered truly free, countries must also have a deep love of liberty and an abiding respect for the rule of law.”
― Margaret Thatcher

“I realized that this was the big secret of democracy — that change can occur by starting off with just a few people doing something.”
― Michael Moore (U.S. film-maker)

Anonymous,  10 April 2013 at 14:10  

Polling is on May 5! To ALL OVERSEAS MALAYSIANS....come back home and vote for the betterment of Malaysia! This is our last chance!!

Anonymous,  10 April 2013 at 14:18  

Datuk Sak

Facts about cyanide:

Phua Kai Lit

Anonymous,  10 April 2013 at 15:56  

Sidetrackking a bit...

Is Malaysia still waiting for Muhyideen Yassin to ANNOUNCE the list that police have who are parties that are going to cause trouble? How come he has the list? You mean PM does not have the list?

Where is this list? Why wait...wait for what? He already cannot be PM this round. Have to wait next round unless mutiny in UMNO.

Anonymous,  10 April 2013 at 18:34  

Dato' a slight digression and still on 7th April "People - Its a Choice between Bad and Good Government!", and in particular an entry by Anon 8 April 2013 11:34 on Datuk Dr Sidek Baba, ex-Anwar friend, now Mahathir's ally and active in the roadshow villifying Anwar.

Anon 8 April 2013 22:38 indicated a source of another reference point for readers to weigh the issues before making any decision on voting day. The link he mentioned about 'mangsa' is: Saya kenal Sidek Baba- oleh mangsa ISA

FMZam 10 April 2013 at 19:42  

We need an activist like Erin Brockovich to take the effected residents on a legal battle against the government of Pahang then maybe they will listen, especially the powerful royal stakeholders who must know that they must stop being olden days feudal living on the misfortunes of the poor peasant.

Siam Fam 10 April 2013 at 20:40  

The matter was not raised by representative from Raub in 2005 because the gold mine in Bukit Koman started using cyanide in Feb 2009...

Anonymous,  10 April 2013 at 22:34 the use of cyanide up to 1.5 tons a day.....

When PR takes over ensure that Customs produce the records of the import of cyanide by the gold mine towkays. The figures must tally with that produced by the company.

PR just make that this country doesn't belong to one small group of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Iban, Melanau, Kadazan thieves and pirates.

Enough is enough.

Anonymous,  10 April 2013 at 23:09  

PHua Kai Lit

You really believe that crap about democracy?

Democracy only works if EVERYONE understand what it means and play by its rule. And we know damn well that such utopia will never happen. Democracy is just a buzz word coined by the powerful to keep the others dumb!

People scream that they will stake their lives for democracy and freedom, and soldiers actually do. Sad to say, all that ever substantively came out of such fervent belief about democracy and freedom are lifesize bags stuff with bodies of someone's father, husband, son, grandson, nephew ... who died fighting for democracy.

Meanwhile the powerful who started this democracy crap in the 1st place would be sitting at their manicured lawn sipping coffee and talking about how much money they made yesterday.

bruno 10 April 2013 at 23:26  

Dato,as usual the barking mongrels have begged their political masters to come to their rescue.Even before the fight has begun the barking mongrels already have their tails between the legs.What a big let down for their potential winnable candidates, party members and supporters.

In politics if a politician has to go down in the polls,at least go down with your heads held high.Do not go down as political cowards.

If Johore is to be the leader in this coming political tsunami,it will be the political tsunami.Then Umno/BN is doomed and Kit Siang will be the victor,no matter whether his opponent is Ghani, Muhyiddin or Hishamuddin.

What surprised me is the "taikor" of Johor,Muhyiddin hasn't offered himself as a winnable candidate in Gelang Patah.That will mean one thing.Gelang Patah is losable for the Umno/BN.In other words Ghani is a lamb sent(offered) to the slautherhouse.

Win or lose Kit Siang will go out in his political career with his head held high.

Anonymous,  13 April 2013 at 08:29  

Pakatan women's wings must do so much more to engage the women... read the alarming statistics of many single mothers in Malaysia.. to ensure a better future and livelihood for themselves and their kids. Jib has given them the deserving assistance.. it is dreadful to ponder if they are dissuaded by umno / bn ; perhaps serenading them with sean ghazi's stunning rendition of the moon... will help a way.. at times, it takes women to do good and courageous things that men from Pluto are inapt at.

Anonymous,  13 April 2013 at 10:29  


Please update your ceramah schedule in Raub and explain to us wats happening in PR seat allocation in Pahang. Not to forget BN's own problem in Kuantan, Tanah Rata, Ketari and Sabai.

Fellow comrade from Seremban


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