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Hands off nation's mineral reserve -Some of our desk ideas to public

Written By David D'Angelo on Friday, June 27, 2008 | 6/27/2008

Malaysiakini

The deputy prime minister has mentioned that the National Mineral Council (Majlis Mineral Negara) has agreed to stress on the utilisation of the country�fs mineral reserves worth RM235 billion. The council which comprises a few ministers and chief ministers has seen the need to do that.

Fomca, however, wishes to caution against this move and advises the council to look at global trends. Many nations from the US to China and India are now reserving their natural resources as national reserves. The global economic market did not push these countries to utilise but to reserve. They buy such minerals and natural resources from other countries for their local consumption. There should be a good reason for this move economically.

Mineral extraction was never classified to be environmentally friendly. There is no such thing as �esustainable mining�f. The methods that mining is done always related to occupational hazards, environmental degradation and its direct effect to the nature surrounding it.

We as a developing nation should also look into our natural resources which are flowing into landfills. The National Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Act 2007 have also promised that through this Act such materials will be reintroduced into the supply chain. Under context of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) such things are possible and it is carried out successfully in many developing nation.

Fomca urges the council to carefully study their move. Many countries which are far behind in development are against mining and we can see the side effects of mining in many places. The diseases and environmental degradation can be shown with pictures and video clips on the Internet for all of us to see and decide.

This nation and its resources are something that we borrowed from our children and grandchildren. It is our very responsibility to see that they are retained for their future needs.

Datuk Marimuthu Nadason
The writer is president, Federation of Malaysian Consumers
Associations (Fomca).

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