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File photo of two employees walking in the bauxite reserve area at Kuantan Port without wearing protective mask, Jan 6, 2016. An air quality research fellow at UniSZA Institute of Environmental Research, Dr Azman Azid, said exposure to bauxite dust over a long period File photo of two employees walking in the bauxite reserve area at Kuantan Port without wearing protective mask, Jan 6, 2016. An air quality research fellow at UniSZA Institute of Environmental Research, Dr Azman Azid, said exposure to bauxite dust over a long period KUANTAN, Aug 5 (Bernama) — Lorry operators caught transporting bauxite without a valid permit face legal action and their licence will be withdrawn, said Transport minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said the issuance and withdrawal of lorry licence and the licence to transport bauxite were under  the jurisdiction of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

“We can discuss and instruct SPAD to take action against the errant lorry drivers as the government has issued a moratorium which allows only bauxite from the stockpile to be taken to the port.

“That is why we asked the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) to investigate for any wrongdoing in the bauxite mining activities,” he told reporters here today.

Liow was met after attending the opening of the Pahang branch Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARC) by the Regent of Pahang Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah at Indera Mahkota here today.

Asked if there was a way to ensure that the transported bauxite was from the stockpile and not “newly-mined bauxite”, Liow said this could be done with the cooperation of the relevant agencies, including the police and the Department of Environment.

Liow said he would instruct the Road Transport Department to  carry out more frequent monitoring and enforcement operations to stop illegal bauxite operators from sending the mineral to the port.

The MACC recently detained 18 lorries for transporting bauxite which was found to be newly-mined at Bukit Sagu and Bukit Goh here, in an operations which resulted in the detention of a senior officer of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department and nine staff of the Pahang Land and Mines Department.

Commenting on the East Coast Rail Line Project (ECRL) to be launched in in Kota Sas here next Wednesday, Liow said he was optimistic that the project would enhance economic development in the affected areas.

“This project is in line with the Kuantan Port extension project where more cargo can land and the ECRL will help connect Kuantan Port with Port Klang.

The ECRL is a double-track rail project, but  only one track will be completed for a start as the construction would involve building a 18 km tunnel in Bentong, he said.

On the TARC campus in Indera Mahkota, Liow said it was timely “high time” as the courses which would be conducted at the campus within the next five years was railway engineering. — Bernama

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