KUCHING, June 10 — Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen wants the Sarawak government to conduct a thorough study on soil integrity and potential threats to public safety in the vicinity of Kota Sentosa due to the operation of a quarry nearby.
Chong said residents in nearby housing estates at Mile 7 had expressed concern over the operations of the quarry, which started in the 1950s, due to its expansion and continuous blasting of rocks that could compromise soil integrity and cause massive landslides.
“I call on the state government to look into the matter seriously as it falls under the state autonomy and to exercise priority on public safety rather than profits of a private company,” Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa state assemblyman, told a media conference here today.
Also present was Bandar Kuching Member of Parliament Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen.
Chong said the argument that the quarry, owned by CMC Quarries Sendirian Berhad, had existed even before the housing estates were built was unacceptable because even poultry farms were required to relocate due to urban development.
During the Dewan Rakyat sitting on April 3, Dr Yii had submitted a question on the matter with Deputy Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji replying that the issuance of licence fell under the jurisdiction of the state Land and Survey Department.
His ministry would write an official letter to the Sarawak government to request the state Ministry of Urban Development and Natural resources to conduct an inspection in the area to ensure all safety procedures were being adhered, including on soil integrity and housing structure.
The ministry would also make recommendations to the state ministry to issue “stop of order” to the company involved if the quarry operation was found to have affected the residential areas, with the nearest only 250 metres away.
Dr Yii had also told the Dewan Rakyat that in an incident that occurred on December 5, 2008, two houses were damaged due to blasting activities of the quarry. — Bernama