Bukit Koman community Picture : SAM
Press Statement 10 AUGUST 2018
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) is outraged by the Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar’s statement that cyanide used by three gold mining companies in Malaysia does not cause any health problems such as cancer or skin diseases and that cyanide used at the mining ponds had no impact on the air or the nearby environment. He was also quoted by the media that “no matter where you put cyanide, it will evaporate and turn into carbon dioxide, it has no smell.”
We deeply regret that the statement made by the Minister has been made without any proper understanding of the impacts of usage of cyanide in the carbon-in-leach process in a factory that is situated in a residential area or the history of complaints made by the Bukit Koman community for the last 8 years or so since Raub Australian Gold Mining Sdn Bhd (RAGM) began operations in February 2009. The operations have ceased as the company has been voluntarily wound up.
The Minister’s statement only shows the insensitive attitude of the government in dismissing the complaints and health problems of the Bukit Koman residents. These residents have countless times complained about being exposed to noxious substances. They have suffered from nausea, headache, eye irritation, itchiness and rashes, and a general malaise in the community. The cause for these medical problems was never determined nor investigated thoroughly by the government.Read more