Archive for July 7th, 2007

Let JB be national test case – whether can wipe ouf “fear of crime” before it spreads further

I remember when I stayed for a short stint in Johor Baru for about a year some 47 years ago, the Johor capital like other parts of the country was generally safe and secure from crime for its residents and visitors and the term ” fear of crime” never existed.

This was the position until some 20 years ago, when the law-and-order infrastructure and institutions failed to keep abreast with the rapid socio-economic developments and changes, and Johor Baru together with other metropolitan areas like Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Penang, increasingly acquired the notoriety as “hot spots” of crime where it residents are not only victims of high crime rate but live in fear of crime.

JB outranks all the other urban centres in the country as the capital of crime where the fear of crime haunting the daily lives of its residents is most palpable like a permanent haze in the JB air.

Let JB be a national test case whether it is possible to wipe out the fear of crime which is haunting the daily life of the people of JB or the fear of crime will worsen and spread to other parts of the country with the police losing the long-term war against crime. Read the rest of this entry »


Old Copper Mine poses a Threat

by Gursharan Singh

The Mamut Copper Mine was leased to a company for thirty years to mine copper. The mining operations ceased in 1999 and later in 2003 it was returned back to the Sabah State Government. The reason for ceasing operations prior to the expiry of the concession period may be due to the exhaustion of copper or continued mining may not have been economically profitable. The company had then provided profits in millions that benefited the company owners.

I remember that environmentalists and other experts had regularly voiced their concerns in the past on the damage caused to the environment and its ill effects on the health of the people. I personally seen the pollution during my visit to KK and Mount Kinabalu in the mid eighties when I visited the State on audit of construction projects duties.

It is apparent that the State and Federal Government Authorities were aware of the damage being caused. However it is not possible to ascertain whether the relevant authorities monitored the operations to ensure that necessary measures were undertaken by the mining company to rectify the damage or taken any other remedial measures to prevent future environmental damage.

The possible millions in profits arising from the mining operations were enjoyed by the owners of the mine. In the process the ‘mining operations left behind a trail of pollutants that are unfriendly to nature and the health of people living at the foothills of Mount Kinabalu in Sabah’.

The company has long left Sabah to enjoy their millions. It has left the cost of remedial and cleanup measures to be borne by the taxpayers. The Federal Government has allocated RM13.0m but this is probably the tip of the iceberg as the total cost may ultimately exceed the benefits derived by the State in the form of taxes and employment opportunities. Read the rest of this entry »