Thursday, 26 November 2015

The bauxite menace; Still rampant despite actions taken to rid them

“And these have been boggling my mind.
“A day before yesterday, I have instructed all the departments concerned, to go all out (in taking down the culprits) but I think something is wrong somewhere (and) this is for me to investigate further,” says the Menteri Besar.

FACE-TO-FACE... Dato' Sri DiRaja Adnan is seen here, fielding questions posed by the 15-year experienced news presenter, Encik Sohail.

PAHANG FOUNDATION COMPLEX, TANJUNG LUMPUR KUANTAN – Problems still surface despite all sorts of strict regulations introduced and various actions taken to rid of the menace brought about by the bauxite industry in Kuantan.

So much so that the Menteri Besar Dato’ Sri DiRaja Adnan Yaakob has to honestly admit that, ‘something is wrong somewhere’ and has vowed to get to the bottom of it in order to further effectively address the issue.

“We have taken all actions like raiding their (mining) sites. But despite all these, the problem still continues that in a way, puzzles me. And these have been boggling my mind,” said the Menteri Besar.

“A day before yesterday, I have instructed all the departments concerned, to go all out (in taking down the culprits) but I think something is wrong somewhere (and) this is for me to investigate further.

“I don’t know what’s wrong but life is just like that – normally the crooks will (initially) have some sort of upperhand over the enforcement agencies,” he declared in a pre-recorded interview with the international television channel Al Jazeera in the late evening of Wednesday, Oct 21st, here, on the 6th floor. 

(Part of this recording is expected to be aired via the television channel's special programme on bauxite, later this month [November]).       

FROM ANOTHER ANGLE...  Calm and relax. The interview took a few minutes breather - requested by Dato' Sri DiRaja Adnan himself; as a show of respect to the call to Isya' prayer (at 8.05 pm) that can still be heard coming from the loud speaker of the nearby mosque, below. 


The 14-minute interview was hosted by an award-winning news and programmes presenter - Encik Sohail A.Rahman, who is the News Anchor & Asia Pacific Correspondent of the international news network, presently based in Kuala Lumpur.

According to Dato’ Sri DiRaja Adnan, seven enforcement agencies headed by the State’s Office of Land and Mines (PTG), were collectively involve in tackling problems arising from the activities of the parties concerned.

And these agencies he stressed, have embarked and executed many kinds of strict regulations and actions including the issuance of summonses and sealing-off machineries belonging to the culprits. 

As for the summonses he said, a total worth of about RM5.2 million has been collected thus far of which, RM3.37 million were the value of summonses collected by the Office of PTG alone.  

To further check the problem, the State Government he added, even has gone to the extent of revoking 34 holders of the Mining Ore Licenses (MOL) previously issued by the Department of Minerals and Geoscience (JMG), effective July 31st.


(MOL were licenses issued by the Department of Minerals and Geoscience (JMG) through which, enabling the holders/operators to buy the minerals from the landowners (mainly from the Bukit Goh Felda Settlement), to clean then to export them).

“Despite all these, the problem keep on coming simply because the operators and the contractors are not responsible. They are simply an irresponsible lot who do not care of the people’s welfare,” he stressed.

He said that he symphatised with the general public particularly with those that their houses being contaminated with dust, or users of public roads that are blanketed with the reddish particles.

“It all boils down to whether the drivers, the contractors, the operators; are ethical or not. And I find from this episode of bauxite mining, they are just greedy people, very greedy. They just don’t care.

“In fact, if the lorries are cleaned before they go out onto the public roads, there shouldn’t be a problem,” he added.


To a question by the United Kingdom (UK)-born, Encik Sohail whether he was happy with the actions taken by the Government via the seven enforcement agencies, he unhesitantly said that he was not.

“My conscience pricks me, because the people are facing problems. I don’t deny the fact that the lorry operators, the lorry drivers are having thriving income. From the normal RM1,200 to RM2,000 (per month), they are now earning RM7,000 to RM8,000. 

"I don’t deny that there are people who set up their stalls to sell food whatever, but despite all these – the problems that this activity caused to the people, is in fact very enormous. 

“In fact, this matter can be solved if the contractors, the operators have some sympathy to the general public. It’s just simple. They just clean their lorries before go on to the public roads, make sure their lorries are in tip-top condition, brake-effective – that shoud be okay.

“But the problem is, they just don’t care,” he said.


Dato’ Sri DiRaja Adnan then admitted that air pollution due to dust emitted by the minerals, was very acute in some locations that some people living in these areas, were suffering from respiratory problem.

In order to overcome this he said, the State Executive Council (Exco) was recently briefed by one, Prof Mongi Ferchichi from Canada, on the using of a certain bio-chemical – Adherex 120, as a solution to the air pollution.  

“This solution (Adherex 120)  will control the dust and it is better than using water. If you use water, after a few minutes the dust will come back, but not with this Adherex 120,” he said.

“They are going to give us a demonstration in two weeks time. We feel that it would be an effective way to control the dust and we might adopt it.

“But still, I would say this – I am not happy with the operation and I still can’t close it (the whole bauxite industry) because many people are getting benefits from this activity.


“But in the final analysis, we’ll give weightage to the welfare of the people at large. Between the economic returns and the social benefits, we’ll give (prominence to) social benefits over the economic returns, ” he added.

Earlier on, the Menteri Besar has categorically stated that how the meagre RM37 million revenue the State Government collected as the five percent tax from bauxite industry, was not important.

When I mentioned the revenue from bauxite mining was RM37 million, I was just mentioning the figure. I never intended to show that that RM37 million is so important to the State (Government), no,” he stressed.

“But, it (the bauxite industry) is important to the concession holders, to the operators and more importantly to the drivers of lorries transporting the bauxite. In a way, I would say that the spin-off effects is a bit important – (it) creates jobs, (food) stalls being set-up. That’s about all.

“For the State (Government), (the revenue generated directly to it’s coffer is) very minimal,” he added. – Khabar  


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

A 100 percent hike in special charges on the production of bauxite!

… from RM4 per metric tonne to RM8 per metric tonne, beginning January 1, 2016. 

“But, they want to beat the time (so, do not want to spend time to do the spraying and cleaning). They want to get extra trips thus extra income. This lies the problem (when their uncleaned lorries dirtied the roads and polluted areas they passes through)” – the Menteri Besar


WISMA SRI PAHANG, KUANTAN – In a move to further check the many nuisances brought about by the bauxite mining activities in the state particularly in this district of Kuantan;

The State Government has decided to hike sharply, special charges imposed on operators of the mineral’s industry from RM4 per metric tonne to RM8 per metric tonne, effectively January 1, 2016.

This was revealed by the Menteri Besar, Dato’ Sri DiRaja Adnan Yaakob in an exclusive interview with Pahang’s New Straits Times (NST) Bureau Chief, Nik Imran Nik Abdullah on Thursday morning, November 19, here.

It is learnt that this latest action has multi-prong objectives that should be seen more as a punitive and remedial measures, rather than be wrongly and sarcastically implied as another source of a much needed extra income to the Government’s coffer.

Among the objectives are - # to make the operators to be more responsible and deligent hence be more environmental- and people-friendly in their activities; # to discourage thus making them to restrategise towards downsizing their businesses;

FACE-TO-FACE... Dato' Sri DiRaja Adnan is seen here, answering questions posed by Nik Imran (right) who was accompanied by his reporter, Cik Nor'ain.   


and, # with the more monies collected can be used by the State Government to repair the many damages incurred resulting from the bauxite mining and it’s haphazardly means of transportation.

“This is not (the five percent) royalty. This is a special ‘cukailah’,” Dato’ Sri DiRaja Adnan insisted.

As has been reported before, the revenue collected from this industry via the five percent royalty was only RM37 million thus far. However, it was not known of the total collection from the RM4 metric tonne special charges presently imposed.

With the new rate of RM8 per metric tonne, and that the amount of bauxite’s monthly production stood at about three (3) million metric tonnes; the State Government is expected to rake about RM24 million a month or about RM288 million a year.

Even the RM37 million that the State Government obtained from the royalty according to the Menteri Besar, was questionable and that he suspected, it may due to some loopholes in the system.



“Look at the whole production; it (was so huge that the earnings collected by the operators has) runs to billions (of ringgit). But why is the State Government getting merely RM37 million? Because of the loopholes…,” he said. 

Thus, he added, he will be calling for a meeting with the agencies concerned – the State’s Land and Mines Office, Customs Department of Pahang, and, Kuantan Port Consortium among others, to further discuss about the bauxite industry.

And among matters to be elaborated including finding ways to plug the said loopeholes and get the actual figures especially on the real value of the minerals that were exported to China all this while.

“So, I am calling all the head of departments (concerned) to make sure that the figures are in-sync (and a more concerted efforts are taken to tackle this bauxite menace),” he stressed.

In response to a question, Dato’ Sri DiRaja Adnan maintained that the main culprits of this negative episode regarding bauxite, are the transport operators and drivers of lorries carrying this reddish minerals.  


It was in fact not a daunting task for these drivers in particular he added, to ensure their lorries are sprayed and cleaned, before embarking their journey transporting the minerals from their production site to the Kuantan Port.

“But, they want to beat the time (so, do not want to spend time to do the spraying and cleaning). They want to get extra trips thus extra income. This lies the problem (when their uncleaned lorries dirtied the roads and polluted areas they passes through),” he said..

“Then, people asked - where are the Police, SPAD, JPJ? To be fair to them, they don’t have sufficient manpower to handle this… But I think, through some other methods for example the JPJ not renewing the road tax of transport or lorries not paying their summonses, I think that would be more effective,” he added.

On his part, the Menteri Besar said, he has done whatever that needed to be done including meeting with the operators or producers of the minerals and their lorry operators, not less than four times during which, they were reminded of the rules and regulations that needed to be adhered.

The most recent action he added, was the engagement of a Tunisian-born scientist educated in Canada – Prof Mongi Ferchichi, to help the State Government in tackling the dust problem emitted by the bauxite.


“… this group will help in controlling of the dust, in making sure that the lorries are quite clean and to make sure that water -- as a result of the bauxite mining activities,will have to be treated before being allowed to flow into the river,” he said.

“With these actions taken and solutions proposed, can we say that the State Government does not have any intention to stop this bauxite mining?” asked Nik Imran.

“At this juncture, I can’t stop, I can’t stop. Because, many people are depending on this mining activities. I know of a lorry driver who is now earning about RM7,000 to RM8,000 (per month);

“And they use the money to feed their children, to educate their children. There are hundreds of them. I cannot simply stop it just like that,” Dato’ Sri DiRaja Adnan answered.

“But if the operators continue to flout the law, continue to disobey the law (hence, continue) causing difficulty to the people at large; I don’t rule out (the possibility that) the Federal Government (will arrive to a decision in) banning the export of bauxite,” he warned.


Dato’ Sri DiRaja Adnan also confirmed that, reports that he has received from the Health and Environment Department disclosed that all the levels of the said to be hazardous substance in the minerals collected from the various places, were within the permissible limits.

“There is no harm. Even at the time when the (NST) report (regarding the many down sides of the whole bauxite industry) were published (in August); all the levels are within permissible limits.

“And Prof Mongi – after having studied the (NST’s news)report, he told me that he didn’t agree with them (the news report)… But I don’t want to split hair on this,” he said. – Khabar

Keputusan yang bijak, kata Dato' Sri DiRaja Adnan Yaakob

… mengenai keputusan Majlis Kerja Tertinggi mahukan Ketua-ketua Pergerakan-pergerakan Wanita, Pemuda dan Puteri UMNO, merasmikan perhimpunan masing-masing pada 8 Disember ini.

“… ini adalah keputusan yang bijak yang dibuat oleh MKT hari semalam, sesuai dengan masa pada hari ini. Dan, ianya memang di luar konvensyen,” kata Pengerusi Perhubungan UMNO Negeri.

PADA PERSIDANGAN MEDIA... Selain berkenaan dengan majlis yang dirasmikannya; soal politik turut ditanya oleh wartawan kepadanya, kali ini khusus berkaitan keputusan MKT petang semalam, Selasa, 24 November, mengenai hal Ketua-ketua Pergerakan Wanita, Pemuda dan Puteri UMNO sendiri yang akan merasmikan perhimpunan masing-masing nanti. 

PUSAT KONVENSYEN ANTARABANGSA SULTAN AHMAD SHAH (SASICC), KUANTAN – Keputusan yang bijak, kata Pengerusi Perhubungan UMNO Negeri, Dato’ Sri DiRaja Adnan Yaakob yang diminta mengulas keputusan mahukan Ketua-ketua Pergerakan Wanita, Pemuda dan Puteri UMNO, merasmikan perhimpunan masing-masing pada 8 Disember ini.

Sebelum itu, beliau yang juga Menteri Besar, menjelaskan kedudukannya dalam Majlis Kerja Tertinggi (MKT) UMNO sebagai Ahli MKT turut hadir; yang bermakna kehadirannnya adalah dengan jemputan.

Dan kedudukannya ini adalah sama sepertimana beberapa Menteri Besar dan Ketua Menteri lain yang tidak bertanding pada pemilihan pucuk kepimpinan parti dalam Perhimpunan Agung UMNO yang lepas.

Manakala yang lain seperti Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan dan Ketua Menteri Melaka bagaimanapun katanya, mereka bertanding dan menang jawatan MKT pada pemilihan parti tersebut maka mereka adalah Ahli MKT.

“Kami, ahli turut hadir ni, tidak dijemput semalam. Apabila tidak dijemput, sayapun berasa lega sebab tanggungjawab MKT ini berat,” katanya merujuk kepada keputusan berkenaan yang dibuat pada mesyuarat MKT petang Selasa, 24 November di Bangunan Parlimen, Kuala Lumpur.

MENYASIKAN MAJLIS TANDA TANGANI PERJANJIAN... Sempena majlis pagi Rabu ini, Dato' Sri DiRaja Adnan turut sempat menyaksikan majlis menanda tangani perjanjian antara dua (2) pihak yang berkaitan dengan produk-produk inovasi. 

Yang turut kelihatan dalam foto ini ialah Dato' Sri Ishak (berdiri, dua fari kanan); Dato' Sri Muhammad Safian dan Dato' Dr Mazlan.  


“Untuk mengulas keputusan mesyuarat semalam,” katanya, “… saya berpendapat, ini adalah keputusan yang bijak yang dibuat oleh MKT, sesuai dengan masa pada hari ini. Dan, ianya memang di luar konvensyen.

“Biasanya, konvensyen UMNO ini; Timbalan Presiden merasmikan sayap-sayap. Tapi kali ini, kita tidak pakai konvensyen itu tidak apa. Sebab ia tidak ada dalam perlembagaan parti.
“Keputusan MKT semalam tidak salah, tidak salah. Tapi, terpulanglah kepada ahli UMNO dan orangramai untuk membuat penilaian.

“Kalau saya jadi Tan Sri  Muhyiddin Yassin (Timbalan Presiden), saya terimanya dengan dada yang lapang, hati yang terbuka.

“Perkara ini keputusan MKT yang mungkin ada sebab-sebab yang mereka sendiri yang tahu, kita tak tahu. Itulah ulasan saya,” katanya ketika diminta mengulas mengenai perkara tersebut pada persidangan media selepas merasmikan Majlis Persada Inovasi Perkhidmatan Awam 2015 pagi Rabu, 25 November di sini.



Kepada soalan oleh wartawan New Straits Times (NST) tentang apakah alasan MKT dalam membuat keputusan untuk tidak mahukan Tan Sri Muhyiddin merasmikan serentak perhimpunan ketiga-tiga sayap UMNO itu kali ini katanya;   

“I don’t know. The MKT must have the reasons, probably they have considered Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s past statements which they consider to be not good for the party. So I think, that’s why they have made such decision.

“Probably they are worried that Tan Sri Muhyiddin might make statements, remarks which are controversial and which are contrary to the current policy pursuit by the MKT. The MKT probably now wants to see peace and stability.

“They might be worried that Tan Sri Muhyiddin might come up with something which might break the mood; something controversial which we want to avoid.

“Basically, the MKT has made a good decision. Good at this point of time; and they might have strong reasons why they made such a decision,” katanya lagi. – Khabar

Fahami peranan 'political masters' dan penjawat awam sebagai pelaksana 'di belakang tabir'

“Perkhidmatan awam yang berkesan membolehkan ‘political masters’, ketua-ketua politik yakni penjawat-penjawat seperti Menteri (di peringkat nasional), di peringkat negeri, Ahli-ahli Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan;

“… bukan sahaja merancang tetapi dengan bantuan perkhidmatan awam, melaksanakan dasar-dasar yang telah ditetapkan,” kata Menteri Besar.

DALAM UCAPAN LUAR TEKS 18-MINITNYA... Dalam pada turut menyebut mengenai inovasi sebagai memenuhi perkara yang dibincangkan pada majlis anjuran INTAN dengan kerjasama Pejabat Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri ini; 

Yang turut diperkatakan ialah tentang peranan penjawat awam sendiri - yang seramai 1.606 juta ketika ini, demi melaksanakan tugas selaku pelaksana kepada segala dasar dan perkara yang diputuskan oleh Kerajaan yang dipimpin oleh 'political masters'.

PUSAT KONVENSYEN ANTARABANGSA SULTAN AHMAD SHAH (SASICC), KUANTAN – Kakitangan awam diingatkan kembali tentang peranan yang harus mereka mainkan selaku penggerak di belakang tabir, bagi membantu melaksanakan perancangan dan dasar-dasar yang diputuskan oleh ‘political masters’ mereka.

Ketika memberi peringatan ini dalam ucapan luar teks 18-minitnya merasmikan Majlis Persada Inovasi Perkhidmatan Awam 2015 pagi Rabu, 25 November di sini, Menteri Besar Dato’ Sri DiRaja Adnan Yaakob berkata;

“Sejak dahulu lagi, negara kita boleh dikatakan mempunyai satu perkhidmatan awam yang sangat cekap sehingga boleh membantu negara mencapai kemajuan yang kita capai sehingga setakat ini.

“Kelicinan perkhidmatan awam memastikan juga kelicinan pemerintahan dan pengurusan negara.

“Perkhidmatan awam yang berkesan membolehkan ‘political masters’, ketua-ketua politik yakni penjawat-penjawat seperti Menteri (di peringkat nasional), di peringkat negeri, Ahli-ahli Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan;

MENYEMPURNAKAN SIMIK PERASMIAN... Dato' Sri DiRaja Adnan menerima gading yang diserahkan oleh Dato' Dr Mazlan yang sebelum itu menerimanya daripada seorang kakitangan awam yang membawa masuknya dari luar Dewan. 

Yang turut kelihatan dalam foto ini ialah Dato' Sri Muhammad Safian. 


“… bukan sahaja merancang tetapi dengan bantuan perkhidmatan awam, melaksanakan dasar-dasar yang telah ditetapkan,” katanya sambil menegaskan betapa ini adalah amalannya sejak era Kemerdekaan lagi.

“Kalaulah negara kita ini mencapai kejayaan dalam usaha membangunkan negara, ianya tidak lain tidak bukan, adalah hasil sumbangan besar perkhidmatan awam.

“Dan kalau misalannya kita dapat lihat kekurangan atau ada kelemahan dalam pengurusan, maka ia adalah juga disebabkan oleh perkhidmatan awam. Ini tidak dapat dielak,” katanya.

Sehubungan itu, beliau mengingatkan para penjawat awam tentang prinsip undang-undang pentadbiran (administrative law), ada kalanya dikaitkan dengan undang-undang perlembagaan (constitutional law) yang turut menetapkan betapa, ‘civil service remains behind the curtain’.

“‘The one who gets the limelight are the political masters. Maknanya, kita perkhidmatan awam ini, ahli-ahli sentiasa di belakang tabir tapi nama gah dibolot oleh Menteri.



“Sebabnya mudah. Kita mengamalkan sistem demiokrasi. Kalau misalannya, dasar-dasar negara tidak popular, tidak diterima oleh rakyat; maka Kerajaan yang ada (pimpinan ‘political masters) pada hari ini akan jatuh.

“Oleh sebab itulah, sentiasa ahli-ahli perkhidmatan awam hanya menjalankan kerja tapi nama baik itu, kredit itu akan didapati oleh ‘political masters’ untuk tujuan politik, untuk tujuan pilihanraya. Ini kita kena faham,” katanya.

Dalam pada itupun, Dato’ Sri DiRaja Adnan turut mengingatkan betapa, “… at the same time, the political masters must always protect at all time, the civil servant. If there is any mistakes committed by the civil servant, the political masters will try to protect – correct the mistake and protect the civil servants”.

Oleh sebab itulah juga katanya, bukan semua penjawat awam boleh mengeluarkan kenyataan akhbar melainkan penjawat awam-penjawat awam tertentu seperti pada peringkat Ketua Setiausaha (KSU) bagi kementerian-kementerian berkenaan.

“Tetapi saya dukacita sikit, sejak akhir-akhir ini, prinsip bahawa ‘political masters in the limelight’, (manakala) ‘civil servants (should remain) behind the curtains and (always) be the backroom boys’, sudah tidak diamalkan lagi.


“Kadang-kadang ada percanggahan, minta maaf cakap – antara Menteri dan KSU, antara KSU dan Menteri, kadang-kadang antara Menteri dengan Menteri, Menteri dengan Timbalan Menteri.

“Inilah tugas antara lain INTAN (Institut Tadbiran Awam Negara) untuk membetulkan. INTAN sebagai pusat latihan pegawai-pegawai pentadbiran awam, mesti mengenengahkan perkara ini supaya kita dapat membetulkan dan kita balik kepada asal,” katanya lagi .

Bilangan penjawat awam yang seramai 1.606 juta orang di negara ini juga katanya, adalah ramai berbanding dengan jumlah penduduk dan berbanding pula dengan jumlah penjawat awam di negara-negara lain.

Yang menunjukkan bahawa, penjawat awam-pejwata awam ini dengan sendirinya menurutnya, juga membentuk satu masyarakat tersendiri.

“Dan kalaulah semua jabatan, semua kementerian dapat memupuk satu semangat ‘esprit-de-corp’ dalam kalangan 1.606 juta ini maka mereka akan jadi satu tenaga yang kuat, yang boleh membantu Kerajaan melaksanakan dasar-dasar dan keputusan untuk faedah rakyat,” kata lagi.

Selain Speaker, Dewan Undangan Negeri, Dato’ Sri Ishak Mohamad; dan, Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri, Dato’ Sri Muhammad Safian Ismail; yang turut hadir pada majlis peringkat kebangsaan ini ialah Pengarah, INTAN, Dato’ Dr Mazlan Yusoff. – Khabar