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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sri Muda rep tells Khir Toyo to ‘shut up’

UPDATED @ 01:06:43 AM 25-07-2010
July 24, 2010
Selangor state assemblyman for Sri Muda, Shuhaimi Shafiei (right), tells Khir Toyo to ‘shut up’ about illegal sand mining. – Picture by Jack Ooi
PUTRAJAYA, July 24 – Selangor's Sri Muda state assemblyman Shuhaimi Shafiei warned Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo today to “shut up” and quit attacking the state over illegal sand mining because he did nothing in eight years as mentri besar.

Dr Khir had recently claimed that the Kuala Langat sand mine was illegal and harmful to the Paya Indah Wetlands.

However, an environmental expert engaged by Selangor sand mining subsidiary Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd (KSSB) disputed such claims, citing a lack of evidence.

“For eight years, Khir Toyo was mentri besar, what did he do? I tell him – you shut up,” Shuhaimi told reporters today.

Umno Selangor’s relentless attacks against Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s administration over illegal sand mining has caused public confidence to drop.

Umno leaders in the state have, in recent weeks, been using newspapers and television stations controlled by the party to highlight what they claim was rampant illegal mining of sand in the state.

The state and KSSB have been on the defensive over the issue despite many of the allegations being unfounded.

Besides Khir’s claims that the Kuala Langat mine was illegal – which was later refuted by KSSB – Selangor Umno deputy chief Datuk Seri Noh Omar also used a helicopter to get an aerial view of sand mines in Dengkil and other alleged illegal sites in Selangor.

“This sand (issue) is about politics,” said Shuhaimi.

“It is a race between Noh Omar and Khir Toyo. Who is the champion will be (the) mentri besar,” he added.

Shuhaimi, also part of the committee on agriculture, natural resources management and entrepreneur development, warned Khir to stop pushing Pakatan Rakyat (PR) or risk being exposed.

“The more you push us against the wall, we will reveal everything,” threatened Shuhaimi.

“Illegal sand mining has been going on for years. The bigger your mouth, the smellier the things that come out from your mouth,” said Shuhaimi, referring to the former Selangor mentri besar.

Shuhaimi also said that the state faced greater difficulties in clamping down on illegal sand miners since the passing of an act in November 2008 that required Land Office authorities to refer to the Legal Advisor office before summoning sand thieves.

“Starting November 2008, before a compound is given (to those suspected of stealing sand), there must be a referral to the Legal Advisor office,” said Shuhaimi.

“Prosecuting them involves going to court, which is a long process. It needs federal powers,” he added.

KSSB estimates that the state suffers RM728,000 losses every month from illegal sand mining activities at 46 mines, which produce some 400,000 metric tonnes of sand a month.

KSSB executive director Ramli Abd Majed said that the state subsidiary was powerless in apprehending illegal sand miners, insisting that sole authority lay with the Land Office.

“KSSB has no power at all to carry out enforcement,” Ramli told reporters.

“But we will work with the Land Office to give them the location of illegal sand mines,” he added.

Source: Malaysian Insider

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