Come 2nd Sept, 2012, there will be a Himpunan Hijau at Raub, Pahang. The Ban Cyanide Action Committee explains why you should care and support this rally.
During the year of 2009, the Raub Australian Gold Mine (RAGM) started its operation, a short distance from the Bukit Koman village near Raub, Pahang. Since then, many villagers have complained that they have been suffering from illnesses such as skin rashes, red and watery eyes, throat irritation, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, dizziness and other signs and symptoms of health problems. Villagers who are capable and have means to do so, have since moved out from the village. Those remaining behind are mostly elderly persons and children.
A survey conducted in May 2012 shows the following results:
- About 80% of residents in the area within a radius of up to 2km suffer from one or more of the health problems as stated above;
- More than 50% of the residents suffer from skin diseases;
- About 50% suffer from red, watery and painful eyes;
- Another 40% had coughing and difficulty of breathing; and
- A few villagers had passed away of sudden-onset fatal asthma.
What had caused the irk and anger of the villagers is that the government had pressured and prohibited all activities of the “Ban Cyanide mMovement” by the local residents.
The waste disposal treatment reported by RAGM is as follows:
“…storing the tailing that contains cyanide and other hazardous waste in the open pit area created by mining thus using the dumping back method.”
Dr. Glenn C. Miller, an environmental chemist from USA who specializes in cyanide mining disclosed that the waste disposal treatment can cause the metal-cyanide contamination. This could severely pollute the rivers and the underground water for a few decades or even centuries.
Even more pathetic is that RAGM does not bring any profit to Malaysia because:
- The Raub project of RAGM was awarded Pioneer Status by Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA), and enjoys tax reliefs;
- RAGM is wholly owned by the company which is listed in the London Stock Exchange; and
- It employs about 300 persons who are mostly foreign labourers.
Therefore, is it worthwhile to sacrifice the health of a few thousand villagers and the harmony of nature for these small returns?
There is also the potential risk of fatalities for those living along the transportation route of sodium cyanide (the ingredient of gold mining) from Port Klang to Raub. One wonders that if any accident were to happen on the way of delivering the sodium cyanide, would lives of people be threatened by the exposure of the toxic cyanide gas?
Stop for a moment and think: is this issue really none of your business?
Tell the government that we don’t want Malaysia to be a toxic colony!
Tell them that you care! Take action now or never!
Be there on 2 Sept 2012 at 2.00pm at Raub, Pahang!
Support the residents of Raub to protect their homes and families!
Details of Himpunan Hijau Raub:
Ed’s note: Read related articles:
Bukit Koman: 10 Reasons Why We Protest Against the Use of Cyanide In the Gold Mine Operation
Bukit Koman: Ban Cyanide in Gold Mining