Report: Actress takes govt agencies to task for silence on Perak rare earth mining that threatens wildlife

Published date28 May 2022
Publication titleMalay Mail Online

Malaysian actress Sharifah Sofia Syed Hussein, known for her wildlife and nature activism, has questioned the authorities for their silence on the potential environmental impact of a proposed rare earth mining project in Perak.

The 36-year-old who recently trekked 240km from Sungai Relau in Taman Negara Pahang to the High Court in Kuala Lumpur as part of programme called 'A Walk For Tigers' urged government agencies to take heed of the environmental impact of the proposed lanthanide mining pilot project that will take place in a forest reserve in Hulu Perak, Malaysiakini reported today.

Lanthanide is a rare earth metallic element that is used in industrial and medical fields.

Citing from the environment impact assessment (EIA) done for the project, Malaysiakini reported that the area is home to 11 threatened wildlife species including the endangered Malayan tiger, of which there are only 150 left in the wild.

"When you invade one's habitat, where do you expect these animals to go? The jungle is just getting smaller and smaller. When these animals end up roaming the kampungs, you end up shooting them," Sharifah Sofia told the news portal.

She questioned why government agencies were not speaking up, naming the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) as one of the silent ones.

"I'm surprised other agencies such as Perhilitan aren't saying much.

"Why is it always the NGOs who are speaking up all the time? Where are the wildlife protectors? Where are the forest keepers?

"Why do the rakyat have to always voice out and fight for what's right? Not just for the people but for the planet too," the 36-year-old who acted in Malay films like Pisau Cukur was quoted saying.

Sharifah Sofia said it was very heartbreaking to see human greed causing Malaysian wildlife to lose their habitat.

"These people know what they're doing, yet they don't care about the consequences their actions will take," she was quoted...

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