CARETAKER Kedah menteri besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor has extended his rare earth elements (REE) spat with Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail when he claimed that the latter tends to focus his attack on Kedah when there are 59 other similar sites across the country.
The Perikatan Nasional (PN) election director attributed his “60 illegal REE mines nationwide” figure as having been “acknowledged” by an unnamed secretary-general of a ministry.
“(There are) 59 more sites in other states. It was only after (the case in Kedah) that it was revealed that other sites exist in Negri Sembilan, Pahang and Perak. But why are they not being investigated? Why are you guys only focusing on Kedah?” he lambasted during a gathering in Kuala Kedah last night (Aug 1).
“Why is there a need to kill Sanusi’s reputation? There are 59 more sites but no investigation is carried out? Negri Sembilan is ruled by PKR, so you turned a blind eye. Likewise, Pahang is under BN combined with DAP, so again you turn a blind eye.
“Again, Perak is under UMNO mixed with DAP? Yet keep your eyes closed. But Kedah which is under Sanusi warrants an investigation. Not that you guys want to seek the truth. But solely to stir up an issue as election capital.”
For context, Saifuddin has alleged that there is illegal REE mining in Kedah under the purview of the PAS warlord through the Kedah Menteri Besar Corporation (MBI) in the forest reserve in Bukit Enggang, Sik.
Sanusi also criticised the PKR’s secretary-general for leaking information from a case that is in the midst of an investigation by the enforcement agency.
“He seized the information and demanded an answer. That is not good governance … but he (Saifuddin) needs to drag this issue out during the two-week state poll campaign period. So, he took the half-baked information and throw it at us. The perception is built that this person is guilty.”
On Saifuddin’s earlier exposé that linked Sanusi with a Chinese national identified as “So Loi Fat” who is deemed to be an expert in REE mining, the latter recalled that the man once came to meet him with a lawyer “who happens to be Saifuddin’s friend” with the intention of lobbying for the REE project in this country.
“If I mention (the lawyer’s) name, Saifuddin will surely be surprised but it’s OK … I shall wait for the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) to ask me so I can reveal the lawyer’s identity,” asserted Sanusi.
According to Sanusi, the said lawyer who is believed to be working in a law firm with his partner who is also from PKR had told him about the REE mining company Prospek Suria Sdn Bhd which had spent RM30 mil for the purpose of REE extraction.
Sanusi further revealed that Prospek Suria has also paid MBI an amount of RM5 mil based on the existing receipt record as an advance for extracting REE in Kedah. – Aug 2, 2023