KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — Residents of Pahang’s capital city had not asked the state government for compensation for approving a bauxite mine in their backyards, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob asserted today amid growing health and environmental concerns.
Adnan played down the Penang Consumer’s Association’s concerns on the issue, in which the consumer watchdog group urged the state to compensate Kuantan residents affected by bauxite mining.
“This bauxite issue is not in Penang, it is in Pahang. My people in Kuantan didn’t ask for compensation. Let’s just wait and let us handle this,” he told a joint press conference with Natural Resources and Environmental Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar at Istana Hotel here.
“What to ask? Do you know there are people asking for bauxite mining to be continued?” Adnan retorted in response to questions regarding compensation.
He was similarly dismissive when asked about deaths related to bauxite mining in the central peninsula state.
“I know what to do,” Adnan told reporters.
When asked for advice for Pahang residents affected by the Bauxite mining, the mentri besar merely said they should see him and tell him about their problems.
“If you have problems, see the MB. I’m not joking, I want to know,” he said.
He added that people should remain calm, as the authorities are doing “everything possible” to assist them.
“We are not in denial syndrome. We are not playing the blame game but we are doing our fullest to make sure that the welfare of the people at all times supersedes any benefit including monetary benefit.
“We are coming up with an action plan as to how to handle this problem,” he said.