Instead of sending medical personnel to help the patients, or the ketua kampung to console, the police was sent to interrogate.
Pahang Raub Ban Cyanide in Gold Mining Action Committee (BCAC)
BCAC chairman Mr Wong Kin Hoong was summoned for questioning by the police on 11am on 18th September, which was his third time within 14 days following the Himpunan Hijau Raub 902. This time, he was summoned together with another BCAC leader Mr Alec Hue and one of the members, Mr Rajoo.
The police mainly questioned on the press conference held on 20th June at KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH). According to police, five people lodged police reports regarding the press conference and BCAC were summoned to assist the investigation. The two-hour-long interrogation centered on the health survey report which was released on 20th June’s press conference. The police refused to disclose the details of the 5 people who made the police report, and BCAC also failed to acquire a copy of the police report mentioned.
May this year, BCAC conducted a questionnaire health survey in the residential areas adjacent to the gold mine in Bukit Koman, Raub, a total of 383 villagers responded. After one month of careful analysis and data verification, a press conference was held on 20th June 2012 at KLSCAH to release the report, which revealed that 50% of respondents faced a variety of skin problems, including itchy skin and rashes, and caught a national attention. Unexpectedly, the Raub police turned up at the door of one of the patients Mr Woon Soon Fatt who appeared in the press conference on 26th July, claiming that the police received a report and was there to investigate! The interrogation went on for one hour. Instead of sending medical personnel to help the patients, or the ketua kampung to console, the police was sent to interrogate; made people wonder what kind of world are we living in?
This is the second time the police claimed that they received a report regarding the KLSCAH’s press conference. If the police is supposedly carrying out their duty impartially, then does that mean that each time the villagers made a report complaining of the Gold Mine’s unidentified gas emissions causing illness and discomfort the police would investigate the management of the gold mine? However, from past experience, instead of recording statements from the gold mine, the police interrogated the villagers who made the police reports! We are wondering why there are difference sets of Standard Operating Procedures?
After summoning Mr Wong Kin Hoong, Mr Alec Hue and Mr Rajoo for statements, the police called the BCAC Vice-Chair Ms Sherly Hue for questioning. Subsequently Ms Sherly Hue turned up at the Dang Wangi police station on 7pm on 19th September accompanied by Ms Malar who is an attorney, and was also interrogated by the police for two hours. Reason for investigation given by Police is the same and related to the press conference at KLSCAH on 20th June. However, this time the interrogation centered on the background of BCAC, the anti cyanide movement, the gold mining company. For example: "Why you are against RAGM?" "Is it your ultimate goal to close down RAGM?", "Any doctor can prove that the villagers’ sufferings were caused by the cyanide?"
Police summoning BCAC to question four times within two weeks is a form of mental torture in disguise. And for the elderly people of more than sixty years old, it is both physically and mentally stressful. BCAC condemns this sort of inhumane and unprofessional conduct. The members of BCAC are just ordinary concerned citizens who are trying to protect their homes, to care for the environment, and to exercise their human rights; they are not criminals! It is the duty and responsibility of the Government to ensure that the people live and work in a safe and healthy environment. Not only did the government fail to fulfill that, now the police is abusing a seemingly legitimate procedure to harass innocent people!