Tag Archives: health

Locals protest sand mining in Sabah

The project is part of a RM2 billion Chinese investment favoured by the state government. But locals complain they were not sufficiently consulted and worry about the potential health impact.

Near the northern tip of Sabah is Bangau Beach, the start of a flat sandy coastline that stretches for 21 km. Dramatic sunsets draw visitors from afar, and runners ran the length of Bangau Beach in an international half marathon a few years before the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the tourist crowds haven’t returned, and they may not for a long time. A RM2 billion operation to mine sand there is threatening to destroy the charms of Bangau Beach. 

(Photo: The sandy coast of the scenic Bangau Beach in Kudat, Sabah, will look very different soon. A new sand mining facility will occupy all the space to the right of the river. | Pic by Chen Yih Wen)

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When’s a Buffer Not a Buffer?

How far should a wastepaper recycling factory be away from schools and houses? Banting residents and lawmakers disagree. In this second of two stories, Aurora Tin reports arguments from both sides of the fence.

In Banting, Selangor, the students at a religious primary school recite their prayers just tens of meters away from the grey walls of a huge wastepaper recycling factory. Tall chimneys behind the walls emit gasses day and night.

The factory, owned by Best Eternity Recycle Technology Sdn Bhd (BERT), has a record of breaching regulations: it was fined at least four times by the Department of Environment (DOE) and Kuala Langat Municipal Council (MPKL) in the last 3 years.

Residents concerned about potential health and environmental damage have been protesting the factory. They argue that the approval of a heavy industrial plant so close to schools and residences had breached buffer zone regulations.

(Photo: An illustration showing various distances between school and residences and the BERT facility. | Pic by Long Long)

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Living Next to a Paper Recycling Behemoth

The Best Eternity Recycle Technology Sdn Bhd paper recycling facility brings jobs and investment to Kuala Langat, but also health concerns for the communities. In this first of two stories, Aurora Tin reports on the facility’s economic values and potential impact.

Suhaizam Mohd Kassim, or Zam for short, is the third generation of his family to live in Taman Periang, Banting, about 45 km west of Kuala Lumpur. He was among the first cohort of students at a local religious primary school his grandfather helped build. Decades later, Zam enrolled his children at the same school too.

Behind that school is a patch of government land where locals grow fruit trees and vegetables. Past the trees are high grey walls, behind which rose chimneys and buildings with green roofs. The construction of the facility started in 2019. It emitted pungent odours and disturbing noises, but residents had little idea what it produced.

(Photo: Residents living next to the BERT paper recycling facility, whose twin chimneys can be seen from a nearby playground, are worried about potential health impact from the operations. | Pic by Irene Yap)

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Coal Can Be Costly – Who’s Paying?

Pieces of coal litter the beach near a jetty that used to transport coal in Port Dickson. (Nicole Fong)

Coal Can Be Costly—Who's Paying?

Text and Photos: Nicole Fong

Editor: YH Law

Published: 22 December 2021

(Cover Photo: Pieces of coal litter the beach by a jetty that was used to transport coal in Port Dickson | Pic by Nicole Fong)

Malaysia favours coal as a cheap source of energy. But for the communities living near the power plants, coal exacts a high price. This is Part 2 of a series that examines coal-use. Read Part 1 here.

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