KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 -- The excavation activity at the foot of Gunung Jerai, Kedah which resulted in a landslide on March 22, is believed to have been carried out without a permit or license.
Malaysian Department of Minerals and Geoscience (JMG) director-general Datuk Shahar Effendi Abdullah Azizi said checks at JMG offices in Kedah, Perlis and Penang found that no mineral tenement (mine lease or exploration license) had been issued by the state authorities at the location of the incident.
“Based on a review of records from the JMG One-Stop Center (OSC), there was no application for planning permission and Permit 4C which is the land use review for the issuance of mineral or soil permits at the scene,” he said in a statement today.
He said checks by the Kedah Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia (JUPEM) showed that the location of the incident is believed to be within government-owned land.
Shahar Effendi also said the incident was caused by excavation activity and not a natural geological disaster.
“During the landslide incident, the weather was good and there was no rain. While the search and rescue (SAR) operation was carried out in stable slope condition and good weather. On Monday, at 1.15 pm, the SAR was called off after the bodies of both victims were retrieved.
“Based on the information obtained, the excavated hole is estimated to be over 12 meters deep with openings up to 20 and 15 meters, causing instability in the wall of the hole.
“The debris from the collapsed wall is made up of sandy soil and boulders with a diameter of between 30cm to three meters. The overall natural slope topography is approximately 20 degrees,” he explained.
In this regard, he said the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources had urged the state government through the Office of Land and Mines to investigate to confirm the excavation activity.
“This is because enforcement for illegal digging activity for minerals is under the jurisdiction of the Kedah state government under the Kedah Minerals Enactment 2004,” he said.
On Monday, it was reported that two men were found dead in the landslide incident on Sunday. They were believed to be looking for gold, and both victims had been carrying out the activities at the same site for the past 10 years.
Malaysia National News Agency
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