Mukah: Mystery illness raises suspicion


A mystery illness has reportedly struck native families living in Rumah Bansan longhouse at Sungai Bedengan near an aluminium smelting plant in Mukah.

The public needs iron-clad guarantees from the Sarawak government – certified by truly independent health and environmental safety engineers/inspectors – that there is no link between the aluminium plant, which is 300 metres away, and longhouse illnesses since September 2009. Failing which, the state government, which has very little credibility, can hardly be believed.

From Free Malaysia Today:

Explaining the ‘mysterious illness’, Tuai Rumah (longhouse chief) Bansan said the community has been “experiencing all sorts of health problems such as breathing diffuculties, coughing and skin diseases” since the construction of the smelting plant.

“The air here now has a stinging smell and the rain water which we collect and use for drinking is turning black.

“The environment is also suffering. All the fish in nearby rivers and in ponds are gone, paddy and fruit trees cannot bear fruits and our vegetable cannot grow,” he told a team from the Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia) early this week.

Reiterating his suspicion to Sadia, Bansan said “his people’s life and their livelihood are in danger of something from the plant.”

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18 Nov 2010 10.41am

The source of the problem is (allegedly) that Press Metal Bhd. smelter, a plant that was commissioned mid 2009 in co operation with China’s equivalent of Alcoa(can’t remember the name). Not only is the company enjoying a generous tax holiday(pioneer status), coupled with discounted tariff on power consumption (George Chan personally laying down the red carpet to solicit Press Metal Bhd) – but (allegedly) poisoning natives in nearby longhouse ???? Tell me Koon brothers – is this for real or is it a case of corporate espionage ? Better yet, natives trying to extort “protection” money makes for better reading,… Read more »

18 Nov 2010 8.08am
18 Nov 2010 12.28am

This happened just recently in October 2010 and is another incident related to an Aluminium Plant in Hungary . Go figure if the effects are related. I wonder how the so called “red sludge” is treated in the Mukah Plant?