Careful screening of bauxite mining permit applications will be undertaken to prevent incidents of environmental pollution from recurring in the state, said Pahang Menteri Besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.
Wan Rosdy said the careful screening of the applications was important to ensure that those granted permits for bauxite mining operations and export licences meet the new standard operating procedures.
"We have agreed to use the new SOP set by the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry, and to ensure its effectiveness, the bauxite mining permit cannot be issued easily.
"Careful screening of the applications will be undertaken before the state government can issue the permit and mining activities can begin," he told Bernama after launching the Tanjung Gahai Makmur Housing Project in Lipis today.
Also present were state exco Abd Rahim Muda and Nilaitek (M) Sdn Bhd managing director Jay Teh Tze Jin representing the developer for the project.
Wan Rosdy also said stern actions, including the revocation of the permits and licences, would be taken against the operators who failed to adhere to the SOP.
On the Makmur Housing Project, the menteri besar said the state government had, as of Aug 31, approved 21 project sites to be built with 7,088 units of Makmur houses, including in Kuantan, Temerloh, Bera, Maran and Rompin.
"This is another effort of the state government to provide affordable houses to the people at a price of RM80,000 per unit," he said, adding that 90 units of the houses in Tanjung Gahai, measuring 800 sq ft each, were expected to be ready in 2021.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Wan Rosdy said efforts to clean Sungai Ichat in Cameron Highlands, which has been badly polluted due to illegal land encroachment, had to be stopped after the Kuantan High Court allowed a temporary suspension of enforcement operations following a lawsuit filed by the affected farmers on April 3.
He said the enforcement operations include the demolition of illegal structures and farms in the area.
The menteri besar also expressed gratitude to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah for his visit to the intake point of the Sungai Ichat dam last Saturday, and for decreeing that the illegal land encroachment to be stopped immediately as it had caused severe pollution to the river.