Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Selangor rep presses MB Amirudin to explain lucrative mining lease to private company

Former Selangor exco Haniza Talha says granting KL Larut mining rights till 2030 is in breach of a 2015 circular.

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A Selangor assemblyman has demanded an explanation from Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari of the move to renew a mining lease for more than 1,000 acres of land in Kuala Selangor to a private company without going through the state government’s firm tasked with managing the mining of minerals.

Haniza Talha, the Lembah Jaya assemblyman who was sacked from both PKR and the state exco this year, said the decision to extend the mining lease for KL Larut Sdn Bhd to 2030 was a violation of guidelines on mineral mining in Selangor.

“The land belongs to the government and should have been returned to the government once the 10-year lease ended, instead of it being renewed for another 10 years,” she said.

Lembah Jaya assemblyman Haniza Talha. Photo: Facebook

She was responding to a revelation by MalaysiaNow yesterday that the Selangor executive council had intervened in favour of KL Larut, a company with links to a businessman close to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, after its application to renew the lease was rejected last year.

Checks revealed that KL Larut’s directors include P Thiagarajan Pavadai, a Klang-based businessman better known as Oms Thiagarajan, known for his close ties with Anwar.

In granting 10 more years of mining rights to KL Larut, the Selangor exco also rejected an application by Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd (KSSB), a company formed by the state government in 2008 to develop and consolidate mining activities in the state.

A letter from the state’s Land and Mineral Office sighted by MalaysiaNow said KSSB’s application was “summarily rejected”.

Thiagarajan was the subject of a police report lodged by KSSB in 2011 in relation to an incident at the same mining site where KL Larut had its lease renewed.

The renewal of KL Larut’s mining lease will allow the company to carry out mining activities which industry sources say could rake in some 300,000 metric tonnes of minerals and sand, fetching a monthly market price of more than RM5 million.

It is understood that the lease renewal breached a 2015 circular issued by the state’s director-general of land and minerals, which stated that all mining licences on state land must be done through open tender.

According to Haniza, the circular also stated that any parties wanting to carry out mining activities on government land must apply through open tender.

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