Sunday, June 14, 2009


ANDREW ONG of Malaysiakini broke this startling story in early May.
The death of an environmental activist in Kampung Baru at Bukit Koman, Raub, has heightened residents’ fears over controversial gold-mining activities taking place near this village in Pahang.

Chong Sow Pin, 63, was found dead on Tuesday at his orchard some 8km from the village where about 300 families call home.

He is among the founding member of the ad-hoc Action Committee Against the Use of Cyanide in the mining operations.

Officially, Chong’s death has been classified as a heart attack by the Raub district police based on a post-mortem, but residents are convinced that the goldmine contributed, at least indirectly, to his death.

The full story well-told HERE



June 13, 2009

Gold over life

In the mid-80s, people living in a village called Bukit Merah outside Ipoh would go to the premises of a factory just across the road to collect a gray soil-like substance and use it as fertilizer for their plants. The management of the factory had told them that it was good for the mango trees in their compound.

The following year, there was one miscarriage in five pregnancies (the national ratio for the Chinese community in Malaysia is one miscarriage to 1,000 pregnancies) and the babies born were generally anemic, some had leukemia. Some of these babies hardly lived to see their third birthday. There was one child was born with disability – his mother was working at the factory when she was pregnant with him. Some children and adults started developing problems like severe skin rashes.

The factory was the Japanese-owned Asian Rare Earth (ARE) and they produced monazite, found in tin ore and from which monazite is extracted to be used in producing the red colour in televisions.

As for the ownership of ARE, Wanda Selamat has the details:

Asian Rare Earth plant was a joint venture between a Japanese company, Matsushita Chemicals and local business entities notably Lembaga Urusan Tabung Haji and state-owned Pilgrim’s Management Fund Board besides several bumiputera businessmen …

The waste product is amang, which was the “fertilizer” used by the villagers. It is highly radioactive

I was one of the people involved in gathering information for a court case against ARE for CAP and Dr T. Jayabalan who twice went to the Diet in Japan to explain to the lawmakers the dangers that a Japanese company was causing to Malaysians.

I stood near piles of amang (HERE) (The maximum activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K recorded were higher than Malaysia’s average and the world’s natural highest).at the factory site and the Geiger counter showed a reading of over 1,000. The normal and acceptable level of radiation is 25 or something. I thought the apparatus was broken and started hitting it but the reading kept showing 1,000 and above.

To cut a long story short, the Supreme Court ruled in 1993 that there was no evidence to show that radiation was being emitted.

It’s interesting that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad talked about this case in his blog now - more than 20 years later

10. We have some experience dealing with radioactive material. In Perak we have a site where we had buried by-products of tin mining (amang) which had been processed to become radioactive and which was used to colour television. We had poured tons of cement on the buried material. More than one square mile of the burial site is barred to humans. The site is still radioactive and dangerous.

Please do not let history repeat itself.

In the village of Bukit Koman in Raub, cyanide is being used to mine gold by Australian Gold Mining Sdn. Bhd. Just a whiff of hydrogen cyanide gas and you can die. Incidentally, Tamil Tigers had little capsules filled with cyanide around their neck – it was the last “meal” they are to take should they get caught.

The Whisperer and Choong Siew Onn have details on the ownership and project approval:

And on reason behind the deafening silence from the powers that be:

And incidentally, Zorro is also thinking about the same subject




Patriot said...

Bernard, your links are broken. It should be Choong Siew: Poison of Cyanide in Bukit Koman, Raub, Pahang and Whisperer: The plight of Bukit Koman residents

writestreet said...

Thanks for the grand welcome, Z. You're so supportive - you always have been.

Anonymous said...


Very simple...!!!

Permits "WILL" not be given if nothing is "given" in return.....!

How is it that the "complains" are NOT looked into...?

The Malaysian athorities have this "dirty" habit of "NOT" moving their arse till...........

something dies & "stink" to high heaven....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Even "snails" move faster.....!!!

That's why we are still "Third World Mentality"...!

Becoz of them...!!!

No matter how much we comment or blog or "shout" at them, they'll forever have that "Tidak Apa Attitude"..........!!

Nothing has changed. Even when PM tells them to buck up & "smile" they'll do that for a couple of weeks only....!!!

Tell me......
Who doesn't have any complaints against the goverment "servants"......?????

Sometimes we really feel like ......................!


Anonymous said...

Again, this goes on to prove that my opinion is confirmed to be true. Tenets of Pakatan Rakyat - Intimidation, Defamation and Affirmation Seeking. An old fool like Zorro must stay home and enjoy the pension the Government is giving him instead of being used by the Oppostion.

The blog postings of the Opposition cyber troopers are definitely filled with elements of anger, hatred and very unacademic. But I shall not step foot into such waters. Instead, let us walk point by point on the "Evil BN/UMNO and their links to the Mainstream Media".

zorro said... are new in here I bet. This old fool is not pensionable. He resigned, with a 24hour notice, from the Ministry of Education. Run along, boy and come back if you have guts to give yourself a name.

zorro said...

Anon12:49....the link you gave. Of the 8 comments, only one seems to agree with him. Was that your comment? Poor thing.

Anonymous said...


you old fool?

may be the young fool is still wet in the ears.

may be he should get some lessons from the old fool, IRRELEVANT IRRELEVANT fella.

ey zorro, you may be old but you aint no fool. God bless you and your family always.

me always anon but a daily diet of your blog. CHEERS

Gadfly said...

There are blood diamonds in Africa.And we have blood gold in Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

This Anonymous who called Zorro an old fool is none other than that smart Alec kid Goh Wei Liang. He has been going around posting his comments in many blogs either as Anonymous or with his name. The bottom line here is that this attention seeker is trying to create controversy to promote his Blog. First he attacks RPK, then Margeemar now he goes after Zorro. Who's next? Maybe Zorro should invite Goh Wei Liang into his Chamber.

zorro said...

People, this Anon 12:49 cannot get into the Fart Chamber. I do not want to be prosecuted under "CHILD ABUSE." Maybe when he grows up mentally, I could consider him as an inmate. Until then, lets allow him to the liberty to do what he does best....blabbering nonentities.