REE: ‘Sanusi is panicking, in denial,’ - Saifuddin

04 Aug 2023 12:12pm

GEORGETOWN – Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Noor is in denial about the issue of rare earth elements (REE) theft in Sik, Kedah, Home Minister claims.

Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said that besides that, Sanusi had been found to be panicking due to the many revelations about the issue made by him.

He said the denials made by the Kedah Perikatan Nasional (PN) Chairman clearly indicated that he was feeling cornered as numerous pieces of evidence had been exposed.

"This is a case of 'denial syndrome' coming from someone who is feeling cornered because I have been revealing evidence of the rare earth theft at Bukit Enggang, Sik, allegedly involving two or three individuals, including foreigners.

"They entered (Malaysia) when Sanusi wrote to the Home Ministry to grant them special entry passes, with the Menteri Besar Incorporated as their employer. They were arrested on Jan 30 and 31.

"Therefore, what else is unclear? What does Sanusi answer? Sanusi needs to focus, not just talk about the clash between America and China trying to seize the rare earth elements. The main issue is the REE theft in Sik; that's the issue. Going as far as America and China, it shows panic," he said during a media session at the Amal Bersama Pemimpin dinner event organised by the Indian Cultural and Social Welfare Organisation of Penang last night.

Saifuddin added that the issue of theft would only be brought to court after all investigations by the relevant authorities have been completed.

"We will have to wait to take the issue to court. The police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission are still investigating. The Forest Department has made arrests for encroaching on forest reserves. The only one not yet investigated is the land and mining director who happens to be a close friend of Sanusi.

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"Under the Kedah Mineral Enactment in section 11 under Regulations 168, 169, and 170, it clearly shows the jurisdiction of supervision by the Land Office and the state government to investigate theft incidents.

"The evidence is there, 365 stolen REE ingots. Why is there no investigation? Sanusi needs to answer," he added.

Yesterday, Sanusi requested Saifuddin to present evidence in the REE issue to court rather than during political ceramah.

Sanusi claimed that Saifuddin has not provided solid evidence in the case so far, instead, he is building a narrative and perception against him during the state election campaign.

Responding to this, the Pakatan Harapan Secretary-General said that it was not Sanusi's duty to speak about the evidence related to the case.

"It is not his duty to say whether there is evidence or not; his duty now is as the Caretaker Menteri Besar. Who is he to say there is no evidence? Who is he? The evidence will only be investigated by enforcement agencies. So far, the enforcement agencies that have taken action are the Forestry Department and the Immigration Department.

"These two agencies have opened investigation papers into this theft incident and its involvement of several foreigners... There have been arrests, investigations, prosecutions, and convictions. Some of them are currently in jail, while others are being investigated under the Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

"Some of the investigation papers, such as those by the Mineral and Geology Department, have reached the ministry's legal advisor. So what does Sanusi mean by saying there is no evidence, what does he mean by this perception? The investigation is still ongoing, and those who have been investigated have been convicted; this matter is very clear," he said.