Bauxite mine drowning: Land owner ordered to pay RM37,620 to victims' families

Nik Sukry Ramli

KUANTAN: The owner of the bauxite mine site in Sungai Karang near here, where three children drowned on Feb 4 last year, has been ordered by the Sessions Court to pay RM37,620 in damages to the families of the victims. Judge Mohd Ghazali Mohamad Taib made the decision today after hearing the testimony of seven plaintiffs and landowner, Ng Kok Yu who was also the defendant’s witness in the negligence case. The court ordered the defendant to pay RM37,620 to the victim’s families besides paying the cost amount and interest which would be determined by the court later. The plaintiffs, namely, Mohd Shariff Awang Ngah and Norhabibah Aidir, both 51, who are the parents of Nureen Ain Juwita, 11; and Nor Azila Mudzafar Shah, 33, the mother of siblings Salsabila Zulkhairi, 13, and Mahathir Mohamad, 8; filed the lawsuit on Oct 29 last year through lawyer Mohd Harris Abdullah. On Feb 4, 2017, Salsabila, Mahathir and Nureen drowned while trying to retrieve a pair of pants from the disused mining site-turned-pond after it was filled with rainwater prior to the incident. They filed the suit against Ng for negligence, among others, claiming that he had failed to fence up the area to avoid people from entering the site, did not erect any warning signs or refill the disused mining pool with earth. Meanwhile, Nor Azila when met outside the courtroom said she was grateful with the judgement and hope it would serve as a reminder to all parties, especially disused bauxite mine owners to ensure the safety at their respective mining areas. “This is the decision we have been waiting for and it is to ensure justice for our children who died in the incident. “It is up to our lawyer (Mohd Harris) to proceed with the appeal for the exemplary and aggravated damages which was rejected by the court today. As far as we are concern, a decision has been made and we are satisfied with the outcome,” she said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd