Study shows youths don't understand bauxite mining issue


KUANTAN: Malaysian youths are aware of the bauxite mining issue here but they do not understand much about it, a study has revealed.

The study, conducted by EcoKnights, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Pahang and Japan's Waseda University, discovered that more than 80% of the 419 youths sampled nationwide felt that the mainstream media had not provided adequate information on the subject.

"Up to 90% of respondents have heard of bauxite mining, yet they do not have detailed comprehension of the issue. Their main source of information are online sources. We have to consider their awareness level as average," said EcoKnights research officer Nabila Shohimi during the presentation of the findings here Friday.

Up to 40% of respondents said they were not satisfied with the information given by the press, but nearly 80% agreed that the press had an important role to play in exposing the negative impact of bauxite mining, the study found.

"The two most important aspects that the respondents feel that the press should focus on are environment and health and safety issues.

"They also want to know more about the economic, governance and socio-cultural aspects of bauxite mining.

"The people want to know more, such as the procedures practised by the miners, the economic benefits and the policies of the mining companies," said Nabila.

The study also showed that many of the respondents were opposed to bauxite mining, but a surprisingly high percentage (40.6%) said they were neutral on the subject.

"The high number of those who are neutral shows that they don't really understand the issue well," said Nabila.

The study also found that 80% of the respondents were not satisfied with the role played by the federal and state governments in the issue, while 85.4% felt that the authorities should play a larger role in the future.

Nabila said information is vital in improving awareness of bauxite mining and all stakeholders have important roles to play in guiding and making full use of the press in providing that information.

Up to 45% of the respondents were from Kuantan and the rest from outside the district.

Project leader Associate Prof Dr Mohd Fadhil Md Din said youths were the target demographic because they were the ones who would inherit the problems of the current generation.

"The Government can use this study as a reference because it shows that youths know about the issue but they do not know how to tackle it," he said.

This project is supported by W-bridge.


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