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Another look at Tawau gold mining
Published on: Friday, April 05, 2024
By: Mohd Izham Bin Hashim
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Another look at Tawau gold mining
Christina handing over the appointment letter to a recipient, accompanied by Joniston (second left) and Josie (right).
Kota Kinabalu: The State Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry will further investigate the controversial gold mining operation in Tawau for any breach of environmental laws.  

Its Minister Datuk Christina Liew said while the company had fulfilled all requirements based on the EIA report, some quarters including environmental activists disagreed.

“There has been controversy over the issue, leading to a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report headed by the Sabah Environmental Protection Department (SEPD),” she told reporters after an Iftar function here on Wednesday. 

The Minister acknowledged the concerns and said she would ask SEPD Director Vitalis Moduying to carry out further investigations over alleged environmental pollution from gold mining activities in Bukit Mantri, Balung, Tawau. 

Gold mining activities in Tawau sparked furore across the political divide with both the PKR-led Unity Government and opposition Parti Warisan questioning the legality of the operation, as well as compliance to environmental regulations. 

On another development, Christina said the Government is doing its level best to keep the costs of living down, with relief packages and aid planned for those in need. 

“I know the economy is not doing very good right now and many are hoping we can do more,” she said.  

“The Government is working hard to keep prices of essential items such as food affordable for everyone, while fighting against poverty,” she added. 

During the event, the Minister also presented letters of appointment to members of the Board of Directors of agencies under the Ministry. 

She also handed over contributions to 17 officers and staff members of the Ministry and its six departments/agencies who are in need of assistance. 

The departments include Sabah Tourism Board (STB), Sabah Parks, Sabah Museum Department, Sabah Wildlife Department (JHL), Environment Protection Department (JPAS) and Sabah Cultural Board (LKNS).

Among those who attended the event include Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai who is also STB Chairman, and the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Josie Lai Mei Sing.

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