Minister denies giving APs for export of river sand to cronies

17 Jan 2019 / 18:47 H.

SEREMBAN: Water, Land and Natural Resource Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar today denied that he gave Approved Permits (APs) for the export of river sand through direct negotiations to four companies allegedly belonging to his cronies.

He pointed out that the report published by a news portal yesterday was not true and claimed that the news portal belonged to Umno.

“First and foremost the website is produced by cybertroopers owned by Umno and all information given in the website is totally wrong.

“There is a committee that looks into the applications that are submitted before they are forwarded to the minister, that is the procedure that is being done.

“I have given the approval but I don’t know any of these companies. The companies that have been suggested by the committee, (the) minister has the power to approve ... no necessity to go to the cabinet,“ he said at a media conference after the handing-over ceremony of the Kuala Sawah Regional Sewage Treatment Plant, near here today.

He said this when asked to comment on the report published by a news portal yesterday that claimed he had approved the APs to export river sand to four companies belonging to his cronies.

Commenting further, Xavier also denied the involvement of the Prime Minister and emphasised that there was no necessity for the Cabinet to discuss the matter.

He added that for the export of materials such as sand listed in the Customs (Prohibition of Exports) Order 2017, the AP Export licence must be obtained first from the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry and the application would be considered according the procedures stipulated.

“Prior to the granting of the minister’s approval, the companies concerned must first of all fulfil the conditions stipulated and had obtained approval from the State Government where the sand is obtained.

“As such, the issue on direct negotiation as reported does not arise as any company could submit applications to export sand if the conditions stipulated had been fulfilled,“he said.

Xavier said there were requests for the export of sand but he advised the parties concerned to abide by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report and the hydrological report of the area to be mined. — Bernama

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