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Sepa again insists Kukusan blasting detrimental
Published on: Thursday, August 02, 2012

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Environmental Protection Association (Sepa) wants an explanation from the State Cabinet for "downgrading a Class 1 protected forest to a Class 2 commercial forest" thus allowing a foreign company to remove an iconic landscape in 2011.

It claimed that during a closed door meeting, Hap Seng Building Material Sdn Bhd's Australian Chief Executive Officer, Ron Delaney, said the company had obtained all the legal requirements under the law to blast the Kukusan Forest Reserve or Trig Hill. According to Sepa President, Wong Tack, this could leave behind a toxic waste lake legacy for Tawau.

"He (Delaney) said if Sepa is not happy, then we should go after the authorities and not Hap Seng," said Wong Tack in a press conference, Wednesday.

"Could Section 15 of the Forest Enactment 1968 be so powerful that it vetoes the gazetted Forest Reserve Act, The Sabah Land Ordinance Cap 68, Section 26 (1&2) and Section 160 under the Trig Reserve and the Environment Quality Act 1974?

"Under the section on the Environment Protection Agency (EIA) project concept, the project must not contradict any development plans, policies or any decisions of the government of Malaysia prior to the EIA study, Wong said.

Sepa also demanded the State Government explain why there was no action taken against the firm as it is detrimental to the interest of the people in Sabah and its future generation.

The claim by Delaney that Hap Seng is not exporting the quality aggregate stones to Brunei, Indonesia and others is also misleading as it is common knowledge that the Industry in Tawau believes that Hap Seng is exporting through a third party via the Teck Guan jetty and the Tg Batu Log Pond Jetty, he alleged.

"Hap Seng has embarked on an aggressive plan using Australian mining technology to build a sophisticated conveyor system whereby it can convey millions of tonnes of stones from the Kukusan Quarry to Tg Batu log pond, a distance of three kilometres. A section of the loading system has been completed and in operation," he said.

Furthermore, Hap Seng Consolidated's website also revealed their quarries in East and Peninsular Malaysia are currently producing about 8.4 million metric tonnes of the aggregates each year.

Out of which at least a million tonnes came from the the Kukusan Quarry/Trig Hill Reserve, and based on market information, the quarry has a production capacity of no less than 150,000 tonnes a month, it said.

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