Pahang farmer grows Bananas and Cassavas in Bauxite-damaged Soil

Pahang farmer grows Bananas and Cassavas in Bauxite-damaged Soil

Cultivating banana trees, oil palms, cassava roots and lemongrass may not seem like a big deal, seeing as all these tropical crops are commonly grown across Malaysia. Except that Surin Deris, a farmer in Kuantan, is doing so in soil that was extensively damaged last year by bauxite mining, which…

The Fiery Peats of Haze in Southeast Asia

The Fiery Peats of Haze in Southeast Asia

By Dr Helena Varkkey, University of Malaya You would be forgiven to think that the haze is here to stay. After all, countries in Southeast Asia have been experiencing almost annual haze episodes since the 1980s. And despite increasingly desperate rhetoric from governments, NGOs and the public across the region…

Concerns remain about new Bauxite mining Measures

Concerns remain about new Bauxite mining Measures

Safer pakamatic lorries will be transporting bauxite on newly designed routes to new safer storage sites for stockpiles. The routes will avoid heavily populated residential areas and lorry drivers will be required to abide by load limits to avoid spillage en route. The authorities in Pahang have been talking up…

Najib Vows to Rectify ‘Mistakes,’ but Mine Operators aren’t too Pleased

Najib Vows to Rectify ‘Mistakes,’ but Mine Operators aren’t too Pleased

Malaysian politicians aren’t exactly renowned for taking responsibility. They are, however, prone to occasional bouts of candor. It was during such a moment that Prime Minister Najib Razak owned up to his government’s failure to prevent the environmental calamity caused by rampant bauxite mining in Pahang. “Of course, sometimes we…

Bauxite Mining Ban has been Extended for another Three Months

Bauxite Mining Ban has been Extended for another Three Months

Let’s breathe a sigh of relief: the three-month ban on bauxite mining in Pahang, which was scheduled to expire on April 15, has been extended for another three months. “It is important for us to safeguard the environment,” Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, minister of Natural Resources and Environment, noted after…

Pahang MB wants new Routes and Stockpile Sites for Bauxite

Pahang MB wants new Routes and Stockpile Sites for Bauxite

As the three-month moratorium on bauxite mining is nearing its end, Pahang’s government is scrambling to repair its image. When the extent of harm to Kuantan’s  environment – water, soil, air – became widely known, the state’s Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob ended up with plenty of egg on his face….

Mining Ban may be Extended, says Wan Junaidi

Mining Ban may be Extended, says Wan Junaidi

Three months always seemed like precious little enough time for a ban on bauxite mining in Pahang, given the extent of environmental pollution in Kuantan. Malaysian environmentalists have been calling for an extension to the government-imposed moratorium, which is scheduled to expire on April 15, and they may yet get…

Oil Palms’ Little Helpers from Africa

Oil Palms’ Little Helpers from Africa

Insects play an important role in ecosystems with plants relying on the wee critters to facilitate their reproduction through pollination. Their bodies are naturally designed to carry pollen far and wide, thereby fertilizing diverse kinds of plants while they forage for nectar. Among the plants that insects help pollinate are oil…

Bauxite Clean-up Hits First Hurdles

Bauxite Clean-up Hits First Hurdles

We’re several weeks into a three-month moratorium on bauxite mining in Pahang, but things aren’t looking up as much as they could be. It will take an estimated 50 years to repair the environmental damage done by irresponsible mining – sad news to local farmers and fishermen – and short term goals are…

Bauxite Miners ‘Will Use’ Safer Lorries

Bauxite Miners ‘Will Use’ Safer Lorries

Once the three-month moratorium on bauxite mining in Pahang expires on April 14, local mines will be back in action. That is the bad news. The good news (such as it is) is that local operators have acquiesced in some new guidelines set by the government to ensure that the…