Sime Darby Plantation considers exiting West Africa operations

KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Plantation, the world’s biggest oil palm planter by land holdings, is considering exiting its palm and rubber operations in the West African nation of Liberia, industry sources said. The potential move comes as the Malaysian company’s return on investment in Liberia has been lower than expected due to disappointing planting activity […]

Malaysia to end bauxite mining ban despite environment fears

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will next month lift a ban on bauxite mining that has been in place for three years, a minister said Tuesday, despite warnings the move may cause serious environmental damage.

The mining of bauxite, the main ore used to smelt aluminium, took off in Malaysia to feed strong Chinese demand after neighbouring Indonesia banned exports in 2014.

But authorities imposed a ban after complaints that pits across the bauxite-rich central state of Pahang were blighting the landscape, rivers were being stained red by mining run-off, and there was a rise in respiratory problems and skin rashes.

In addition, critics said most of the mining was illegal, and done amateurishly with no government oversight.

Xavier Jayakumar, water, land and natural resources minister, said the new government which took power last year has decided not to extend a moratorium which ends on March 31.

“Industry players can resume mining by April, but they must adhere to strict mining conditions,“ he told AFP, adding the move was to allow Pahang to earn crucial extra revenue.

The announcement will also allow to be shipped overseas some 432,000 tons of high-grade bauxite currently stored at Kuantan port on the South China Sea.

Kuantan member of parliament Fuziah Salleh, representing a party in the ruling coalition, criticised the decision to lift the ban, warning that waste would once again be washed into waterways.

Mining will “pollute the rivers which are sources of water for the locals”, she told AFP.

Bauxite mining can release carcinogenic heavy metals such as strontium, caesium and other harmful substances, as well as low levels of radiation.

It is not clear whether the policy shift will lead to a new boom in bauxite mining in Malaysia, however, particularly as Indonesia started allowing exports again in 2017. — AFP

Is high finance growing a social conscience?

LONDON, Feb 20 — Financiers who turnaround companies by injecting them with capital are increasingly considering the environmental and social impact of their investments, according to a survey published today by consulting firm PwC. The survey…

Molecor SEA aims to reduce non-revenue water in Malaysia

KUCHING: Fitters Diversified Bhd’s (Fitters) subsidiary Molecor (SEA) Sdn Bhd (Molecor SEA) aims for its HYPRO Oriented PVC pipes to help the government in reducing Malaysia’s non-revenue water (NRW) in a cost effective way, backed by the pipes’ merits of 50-year durability and ease of installation. The Minister of Water, Land, and Natural Resources, Dr […]

Singapore can make its way in the world, says minister in Budget 2019 speech

SINGAPORE, Dec 19 — Delivering his first Budget speech since he was earmarked to succeed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday reflected on Singapore’s 700-year history and, at the same time, sought to provide…

Europe's food makers find green palm oil hard to stomach

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — Europe, the world's second-biggest buyer of palm oil, is set to miss a 2020 target backed by about 10 countries, as well as big companies, to use 100-per cent sustainable supplies of the edible oil in food ingredients,…

Ascend of the timber industry

As a country blessed with one of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world – some saying it rivals that of the Amazon – it comes to sense that Malaysia’s forests make up a crucial pillar of the economy via the timber industry and wood-related products. Indeed, the industry is going from strength to strength […]

Genting Malaysia’s judicial review on tax incentive to be heard on May 30


KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 14): The High Court today fixed May 30 to hear Genting Malaysia Bhd’s application for a judicial review of a government decision on the tax incentives granted for the group’s RM10.38 billion Genting Integrated Tourism Plan (GITP) redevelopment project. The date was fixed during case management in chambers before judge Azizah Nawawi. Present were senior federal counsel Natassa Zaini who represents the Ministry of Finance (MoF), and Genting Malaysia’s lawyer Keith Lim Boon Long. MoF had in December 2014 approved Genting Malaysia’s tax incentives application for GITP,Read More

Indonesia defends palm oil after EU aims 2030 road fuel phase-out

JAKARTA: Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, will not accept an EU plan to curb the use of crops that cause deforestation, and argued that its higher production yield made it better placed to meet global demand, a senior Indonesian official said. A European Union draft due to come into effect after four […]

Italy-France train ‘would lose €7b’, says contested report

MILAN, Feb 13 — A high-speed train link between Italy and France will not be profitable, a controversial Italian-government commissioned report said yesterday. The line between Turin and Lyon has become a key battleground for Italy’s populist…