12:52PM Aug 21, 2012
The Raub District Council has rejected an environmental group’s application to stage a demonstration at Dataran Raub against the Bukit Koman gold mine on September 2.
“The committee is very dissatisfied with this response. Prior to fixing a date, we had already checked and found that there was no activity at the field on that day,” said committee chairperson Wong Kin Hoong (left).
Wong said the district council was thus violating the rights of its ratepayers by preventing them from using public facilities.
“This is also an insult to the prime minister’s efforts to promote transparency and reforms,” he said.
Wong said the committee strongly condemns the council for denying the public their right to freedom to assembly which is safeguarded under the Federal Constitution and the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.
The committee replied the council’s noticed the same day that it received it, seeking details of the said activity at Dataran Raub and also requested a dialogue with the council.
“We hope that the authorities respect the wishes of the public and make the correct decision,” he said.
The committee was formed as a response to the use of cyanide in gold mining activities in Bukit Koman, about 3km north of Raub.
The rally on September 2 – dubbed Himpunan Hijau Raub – is the culmination of five years of protest against the use of cyanide at the Bukit Koman gold mine.
Cyanide is used to extract gold from tailings – waste material from previous mining – and oxide deposits at the mine.
But residents at Kampung Baru Bukit Koman, which sits adjacent to the mine, have complained that the fumes from the mine have caused a long list of health problems.
They have tried to take legal action against the well-connected miners but their suit had been thrown out in court.