Sabah probes claims of illegal sand-dredging near Kota Belud

Avila Geraldine

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry is investigating claims that a company has commenced sand dredging activity at a Kota Belud river, despite issuance of a stop-work order in May.

Its said the ministry has received complaints that certain quarters have appointed a sub-contractor for the job and that the company had been conducting sand dredging and rock extraction activities on the banks of Sungai Kadamaian.

“I have sought the assistance of the Irrigation and Drainage Department as well as the Lands and Survey Department to investigate the matter.

"By right, no one is allowed to conduct sand dredging and rock extraction at the river.

“We have suspended all works at the Sungai Kadamaian on May 18. No work is allowed to take place until a new design work proposal has been approved,” he said today.

The Kadamaian river has been badly affected by debris from Mount Kinabalu following the 2015 earthquake. The incident has also affected water resources, especially within the Kota Belud district.

On May 24, Junz had announced the stop work order against companies conducting sand dredging activities in the area.

Meanwhile, Junz added that if the claims were found to be true, the company involved could be considered as "tresspassing and a thief".

He urged the people, especially villagers to report to the authority immediately if they spot suspicious activities at the river. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd