Transparency International Malaysia together with the local community at Tasik Chini, urges the Pahang state government to stop all mining activities immediately because they are too close to the water body. Sediment run-off from the cleared land (particularly from the Batu Busuk area) flows directly into the lake.
The mining operations that are seriously affecting the lake. They constitute the biggest threat to the integrity of Tasik Chini with ramifications of its status as UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and the wellbeing of the local communities.
The mining activities increase heavy metal concentrations such as iron (Fe), aluminium (Al), barium and manganese in the water body further harming the health of the lake and its inhabitants.
When the mining area is closed, engineering measures must be taken to ensure that the sediment from the cleared land does not seep into the lake. This is crucial because a continuous heavy rain might lead to severe sedimentation, which will then choke the ailing lake further.
Tasik Chini has been recognized as an environmentally sensitive area under the National Physical Plan. As such, the Pahang government should not have approved mining operations close to the lake.
An action-oriented and comprehensive lake restoration committee must be established. It is crucial to organize a coordinated action to rehabilitate the lake in view of the limited success in removing the cat’s tail and in rejuvenating the lotus plants. The committee must actively involve the local community to connect them to their own natural resources.