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Gold mining not due to GRS government
Published on: Tuesday, February 13, 2024
By: Lagatah Toyos
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Gold mining not due to GRS government
Nizam said the matter relating to the activity was addressed during the last State Legislative Assembly session and that the Customs Department released a statement addressing the recent seizure of 110kg of gold bars.  - Pic (right) for illustration only.
TAWAU: Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan said the gold mining licence in Bukit Mantri was issued by the previous government. 

He said the government’s responsibility today is limited to monitoring and observing activities and ensuring that all processes and regulations are established and followed. 

He said this after officiating the Chinese New Year celebration jointly held by the Persatuan Jalinan Kasih Harapan Rakyat Sabah (PJKHRS) and the Rumah Warga Tua Air Panas, Monday. 

Nizam said the matter relating to the activity was addressed during the last State Legislative Assembly session and that the Customs Department released a statement addressing the recent seizure of 110kg of gold bars. 

“The Customs Department confirmed that there were no violations of regulations or laws in the case involving gold mining operations in the area in issue. 

“Therefore, we hope that there are no more parties who try to use this issue just to find fault or sow incitement that will make people have the perception that the activity is illegal,” he said. 

Nizam said the mining activity complies with all State legislation because minerals are under the jurisdiction of the Sabah Government. 

“Thus, the accusations by certain parties who deliberately make this issues as their political material do not arise... (because) the fact is that the licence was issued during the previous government, not the current government,” he said. 

For the record, the Customs Department seized 110kg of gold bars purportedly worth RM30 million at Tawau Airport on February 6. The incident elicited numerous reactions. 

Several people were apprehended when the goods were discovered in their luggage as they prepared to depart for Kuala Lumpur. 

Assistant Director-General Customs (Sabah Zone), Datuk Mohd Nasir Deraman in a press statement on February 8 said that the seizure was not found to be in violation of the Customs Act 1967. 

He was quoted as saying that they conducted investigations and found that the gold bars are not subject to the Customs (Prohibition of Imports) Order 2023, the Customs (Prohibition of Exports) Order 2023, or the Customs (Prohibition of Removal) 2022 permit.

The gold was returned to the carriers. 

The mining became a controversy with certain parties questioning the legality and an internal dispute involving shareholders is also now before the court.

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