Tuesday 4 September 2012

Gold mining company sues Malaysiakini and Free Malaysia Today

Raub Australian Gold Mining (RAGM) Sdn Bhd has initiated legal action against two news portals for defamation, just two days after Himpunan Hijau Raub rally.

The articles published by Malaysiakini and Free Malaysia Today had damaged its reputation, the company claimed in a press statement issued today.

bukit koman gold mining cyanide 010207 lakeRAGM said allegations that sodium cyanide used for gold extraction was hazardous to Bukit Koman residents was unsubstantiated.

"(These) baseless allegations have led to much confusion to people in and outside Bukit Koman. And on top of that, have caused damage to RAGM's reputation and name.

"We wish to state that we are compliant with all relevant laws and re-iterate our commitment to ensure that all necessary safeguards are in place to ensure the safety of our employees, the local community and the environment vis-à-vis our operations.

"This commitment is a longstanding one and the company remains committed to upholding it," the statement says.

'Selective prosecution'

RAGM argued that its plant had operated using sodium cyanide for three years and there has been no report adduced by any medical expert or specialist to prove that their ailments were solely due to the chemical.

The villagers at a press conference on June 21 revealed a study showing that 78 percent of the residents in the surrounding areas of the gold mine were suffering from health problems, believed to be related to the use of cyanide and other chemicals at the gold mine. 
Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan has vowed to fight the lawsuit.

NONE“This is a case of selective persecution as we have been singled out for legal action when other media organisations have also reported the same issue extensively,” Gan said.

Malaysiakinireported the complaints of the Bukit Koman villagers in good faith, and it is incumbent upon us as journalists to report on such matters of public interest.”

RAGM has named MKini Dotcom Sdn Bhd and three of its journalists as defendants while MToday News Sdn Bhd and one of its journalists have been named as defendants in a separate suit.

No comments:

Post a Comment