Lynas: A colossal catastrophe waiting to happen

58
no views

M N D’Cruz raises the alarm over the Lynas rare earth refinery near Kuantan and says it is the duty of every Pahang resident to oppose the plant.

M N D'Cruz

I am writing this as a concerned citizen, living in Kuantan for the past 60-odd years. My concern is not about my personal safety or health, as I am well into my eighties and the call may come anytime, sooner rather than later. May I also add that I have no political agenda in this matter and I am not a member of any political party, BN or Opposition.

But my real concern is about the safety and health of generations of our children to come, as well as the expanding population that has to work, live and perhaps die in the vicinity of the proposed plant. This vicinity includes Kuantan Town, Beserah, Batu Hitam, Jabor, Balok, Sungei Karang, Cherating and other settlements along the coast, right up to Kemaman and may be further on into the neighbouring state of Terengganu.

Most of these villages are well populated and growing. The proponents of this project and those in the authority of the state/Federal Governments now have a solemn duty to ensure the health and safety of the people in these regions for generations to come. But I am really concerned that whatever assurance they may give verbally or in writing may not hold good for ever. Nobody, except God, can predict natural disasters like volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, tidal waves and floods, which may strike anytime.

I am sure those who built the plants in the Three Mile Island in USA (1979), Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2011) had taken utmost precautions to prevent disasters and yet they happened. Thousands of people died in these disasters and thousands more are still suffering the after-effects of these disasters. Do we want to have a similar situation in this country?

The biggest question is ‘Why do we want this plant in Gebeng or for that matter anywhere in Malaysia’?

Are we so hard-up for FDI that we are prepared to accept a backyard industry, rejected in its own country? Western Australia has all the required facilities, viz. less populated region, accessibility to seawater and port, good transport system and infrastructure.

So why do they want to come to Gebeng to do this job?

According to Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, “the state government did not approve the project and it had no power to stop it…”

“When Lynas first proposed the project, International Trade and Industry Ministry had given the project to Terengganu . However, due to delays (or rejection by Terengganu?) the Ministry asked us to consider having the plant in Gebeng” (Press report, 20 April 2011).

Does it mean the state government has no power to refuse permission for the plant to be built in Gebeng? Land usage is a state matter and the state should have the last say in such matters. So it is surprising to note the Ministry of International Trade and Industry has forced the Lynas Gebeng Project, down the state’s throat.

“Atomic Board has limited jurisdiction” (press report).

Does it mean that in matters outside its jurisdiction, it can wash its hands and put the blame on other agencies like the Malaysian Nuclear Agency, the Department of Environment and even the State Development Corporation?

“A full operational licence will not be issued if Lynas does not meet the requirements that have been set” (press report, 23 April 2011).

So, if the requirements are not met with, will the RM700 million Lynas plant under construction now become a white elephant?

READ MORE:  Toxic to stereotype people based on race and religion

“Lynas, which hopes to begin operation in September 2011, expects to bring in RM8 billion a year from 2013 that too tax-free, based on current prices.”

Who are the real beneficiaries of the RM8bn a year income – the state government, Lynas Australia, the federal government, Lynas (M) Sdn Bhd?

I understand there is LYNAS (M) Sdn Bhd in existence.

Who are the directors, shareholders and stakeholders of this company?

It has been reported that a delegation of state exco reps visited the Lynas headquarters in Australia.

Who sponsored their visit? Did they see any plant in operation there? What technical or scientific expertise did the members of the delegation have to do an objective study of the pros and cons of operating such a plant? Who paid for their expenses? – Lynas or the state government?

The raw-material is to be imported from Lynas Australia.

Why bring the raw-materials from Australia, when it could safely be processed there? Is it because the 41 safety and health regulations by the Australian government are more stringent than whatever conditions we may impose in Malaysia?

According to some experts the ‘public is already exposed to naturally occurring and ionising radiation. Do we need an extra dose of radiation?

The finished products will be taken back to Australia but the ‘tailings’ will be ‘safely’ left behind in Gebeng.

Why should we hold on to this toxic waste for many, many years, even if they are deposited underground?

Isn’t it true that there is no ‘safe’ level of radiation, as far as its effects on the health of the people is concerned? (Letter to the Press by Mr David K C Quek dated 27 May 2011).

Do we want a repeat of Bukit Merah, Perak, where the Japanese Company which ran the rare-earth plant is spending RM300m to do the clean-up and even after more than 25 years, they have not succeeded in cleaning up, leaving behind those with birth defects and eight leukemia cases – seven have since died (New York Times, 8 March 2011)

“Chinese farmers in China pay the price for rare-earth addictive” (press report).

According to this report, peasant farmers living near the dumping ground for rare-earth waste in Dalahai have –”lost their teeth”, “lost their hair”, “eat contaminated food”, and “destroyed their crops”. Do we want any such disaster to strike us? Do we want our future generations to blame us for their sufferings?

“Lynas report will take time” (press report 27 April 2011).

“The Panel tasked with reviewing the health and safety aspects of Lynas (M) Sdn Bhd is expected to present its report within a year.” (Datuk Fadillah Yusof, Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister). In the same newspaper International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed is reported to have stated “the Panel would complete the task in a month”. Whom are we to believe?

READ MORE:  Climate change: The future is here

In the same report it was stated “An EIA was approved by the Pahang Department of Environment on 15 February 2008 and was carried out according to the highest standard”.

(i) Who were those experts involved in carrying out ‘the assessment according to the highest standards’;
(ii) If the EIA was approved in February 2008, why did the authorities keep it under wraps and only now (23 May 2011) bring it out for public display at a few selected places?

That too, after an article in the New York Times dated 8 March 2011 exposed the inherent toxic effects on the safety and health of the people living around this huge complex built over 50ha of land. It is in the interest of the real stakeholders, viz. the ordinary citizens of Kuantan, that the authorities concerned provide truthful answers to points raised in this article.

As early as 21 May 2011, Lynas Ltd (Australia) issued a statement that all necessary safety measures had been undertaken.

Was it meant to pre-empt the findings of the then newly appointed international panel of experts?

Lynas review panel must be reformed (press report 23 May 2011).

En S M Mohamed Idris and the organisations he represents – Consumers Association of Penang and Sahabat Alam Malaysia – are internationally known and well-respected entities. We can ill-afford to ignore his comments. The state and federal authorities should address his comments since the review involves environment, public health, radiation and safety issues……. They are not independent as made out to be. Four (plus one) of the nine panel members are staff of the IAEA.

Lynas: It is safe to transport rare-earth (press report, 23 May 2011).

If rare-earth is so safe as claimed by Lynas, Australia, why bring it to Gebeng, where the people have no need for its final product or the tailings. Why not keep it in Australia and enjoy all the benefits it may bring? “Charity begins at home.”

Petition signed by 52000 residents protesting the building of the plant

It has been reported that a petition containing 52,000 signatures of the people expressing their concern and protesting against the Lynas Gebeng Plant, which the Kuantan Member of Parliament YB Fuziah Salleh tried to submit to the panel, was rejected on the grounds that it was ‘immaterial’.

Local Agenda 21 clearly states that for any sustainable development to take place, people must be consulted and must participate in decision making that is related to the development. Yet the Panel blatantly refused even to accept it for its consideration /deliberation – (press report, 31 May 2011). No one knows why.

The demonstrations at Hotel Hyatt, Kuantan on two days

This could best be described as hooliganism by highly emotional and impressionable youths of a particular political party, with a political agenda orchestrated by interested parties, bent on getting the plant operated, at any cost. It is easy to identify the youths by their behaviour in blocking opposition Members of Parliament and State Assembly members from entering the hotel.

READ MORE:  ‘A tipping point is playing out right now,’ says climate scientist Michael Mann

An MCA youth was roughed up, camera crew from the press handled roughly and threateningly, while the security force available failed miserably to control the situation.

The Chairman of the Pro-Term Committee of ‘Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas’ resigned because of outside pressure, which he felt was threatening his safety and that of his family. The Vice-Chairman decided to skip Lynas meetings because he too feared for his personal safely (press report 1 June 2011).

Suspending the construction in Gebeng

It is hoped the assurances given by the Minister of International Trade and Industry and also voiced by the panel is being translated at the ground level. It is hard to imagine how nearly 2,000 construction workers of all grades working feverishly could be laid-off temporarily for an indefinite period.

Site visit by Panel Members

It is remarkable for the Panel Members to have completed the site visit of the sprawling construction site in less than two hours. If their aim was to study the safety aspects of the factory being constructed, nothing much could have been achieved. Yet let us hope for the best.

The very fact even the press was denied entry to accompany the panel members raises further concern about the safety aspects of the plant. And once in operation, what’s going on inside would be anyone’s guess.

The input given to the Panel by Lynas officials and government department representatives are certain to be biased towards the proponents of the project and therefore may not be objective.

Why should Lynas want the plant in Gebeng?

An article by Azmi Sharom (press report, 2 June 2011) highlighted various reasons as to why Lynas Australia wants the biggest rare-earth plant in the world (outside China) to be built in Gebeng and not in their own country. As the whole issue concerns the safety and health of thousands of people living in the vicinity of the plant, there should be full and open disclosure of all the facts regarding the safety and health of the people. Unfortunately, so far this has not been done.

Finally, I strongly feel it is the duty of every concerned citizen of Pahang, especially those living in Kuantan, irrespective of race, religion or political affiliation to join hands as a united force and struggle to stop Lynas from operating this rare-earth processing plant in Gebeng. We owe this to future generations of our children and grandchildren, whose health and safety are at risk.

It is also my fervent hope and prayer that politicians and political parties will not highjack the Lynas issue for their own political agenda. Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas!

After 30 years of service with the Ministry of Education, D’Cruz has written a host of books on Malaysian labour law. He was a member of the Panel of the Industrial Court Malaysia from 1973 to 1989.

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
58 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
rollo
rollo
30 Nov 2011 6.01pm

If a cat sits on a hot stove, he will not sit on a hot stove again; neither will he sit on a cold one. After Bukit Merah (hot stove) one can understand the reaction to Lynas (cold stove). If the cat could measure temperature, he would know that the cold stove was not warm enough to harm him. The percentage of radioactive thorium found in the tin mine tailings at Bukit Merah (hot stove) is 95%-97% higher than in the rare earth concentrate proposed to be imported from Australia, according to an interview with Lynas chairman Nicholas Curtis published March, 2011 by the New York Times. There is no need to believe or disbelieve him because measurements can be taken to prove or disprove him. In fact, the International Atomic Energy Agency was specifically asked to investigate the properties of Lynas’ rare earth concentrate. The IAEA published the results on page 28 of their report (available on their website) last June… “ the rare earths concentrate, at a combined activity of 6Bq/g, is not subject to the regulations and may be transported internationally as an… Read more »

Isma
29 Nov 2011 2.58pm

Please go back to the original article by Mr D’Cruz and note one of the key points raised regarding other sites was because of assurances given earlier on safety before those sites started operating. Ask yourself, if even in advanced economies like US and Japan assurances given could not prevent radiation leakages, what more in the case of Lynas where until now its safety program has not been provided, and if provided (not really sure because of the way MITI replied) has not been validated? What is the point of comparing radiation levels in Bukit Merah where failure has occurred with Lynas where operations have yet to begin? Is it scientific to do so? I suggest, learn from this well known local failure and compare the safety program of both sites first!

rollo
rollo
29 Nov 2011 11.46am

Yes, we could speak to both parties and ask their opinion but better yet, why can’t we take a more objective view and read radiation levels as measured by scientific instruments? Differences between Bukit Merah and Lynas should not be based upon opinion but on science. When accuracy is usurped by emotion what happens to sound judgment? Believe emotional appeal or believe scientific measurement. The choice is yours.

YHSiew
YHSiew
28 Nov 2011 6.54am

Speak to a victim of the Bukit Merah disaster. Confirm whether he was told it would be perfectly safe like what the Lynas people are telling us and ask yourself whether you should believe the victim dying from cancer or the Lynas people.The choice is yours.

scanspeak
scanspeak
22 Nov 2011 1.59pm

Why not close down all the oil refineries in Gebeng as well since in the past 50 years there have been many incidents of pollution and environmental damage from many oil companies?

Isma
26 Nov 2011 9.57am
Reply to  scanspeak

Aiyag scanspeak, you sound like a petulant little child. Even I, an overgrown child with children of my own, can think and write better.

dom
dom
21 Nov 2011 11.37am

Why everyone refers to incidences so far from home, Malaysia. Why no one ever mentioned Bukit Merah Village where the toxic has gone to the streams and polluted the environment and poison the people living there more than 20 years ago and the effect is still being felt.
I suggest those who agree to the plant to be commissioned so buy a house next to the plant. See whether they will want to stay there or not?

Not a scared rabbit
Not a scared rabbit
17 Nov 2011 9.53am

These type of articles are blatant scare tactics. And an insult to rational thinking people. Lynas will be required to build proper faculties. The jobs created will be a wonderful opportunity for many to have good employment. If you really want to stop further investment in your country,show the world you cannot be trusted to fulfill your promises.

Isma
18 Nov 2011 7.30am

Wrong. If you really want to stop further investment in your country show the world you couldn’t care less about transparency in your dealings. Show the world that rule of law is secondary to rule by law. Show the world that dissent is selectively dealt with. Show the world that your country’s education standards is nothing but one of the toys in the ruling government’s arsenal. Show the whole wide world that racism, blatant corruption and trampling of human rights is never far from the surface in spite of all the lofty pronouncements made by its brave leaders on the world stage.

ThomasT
ThomasT
19 Nov 2011 8.46am

Lynas will be required to build proper faculties.

So, Not a scared rabbit, (or Lynas misinformer), has it NOT already been exposed that the piping now being installed,to handle the very hot radio-active material, is substandard? (NY Times report).

rollo
rollo
23 Nov 2011 8.58am
Reply to  ThomasT

Fortunately, we have scientific measurement as a way of discerning who is telling the truth… Thomas T’s statement describing “very hot radio-active material” or the IAEA’s statement from page 28 of their investigative report, “the rare earths concentrate, at a combined activity of 6Bq/g, is not subject to the regulations and may be transported internationally as an ordinary non-hazardous material… they pose such a low radiation hazard that there is no net benefit in regulating them”. On page 35 of the IAEA report they state “WLP residue is expected to have a ThO2 content of 1655ppm (corresponding) to a Th-232 activity concentration of 5.9Bq/g”.

When considering sophisticated industrial development can the IAEA’s scientific measurements be relied upon or should decisions be based on the emotions of well-meaning but misguided opinion?

rollo
rollo
16 Nov 2011 1.02am

Erin Young‘s plea “Please be truthful and realistic” is admirable, if everyone will accept that as their goal and conduct themselves accordingly, consensus is attainable among honest, intelligent people. May I quote from the IAEA’s report on the Lynas Project, page 35? Quote. “The documentation examined by the review team revealed that the rare earths concentrate to be imported from Australia is expected to have a ThO2 concentration of 1600 ppm… these concentrations correspond to a Th-232 (thorium) activity concentration of 5.7Bq/g… the WLP (waste) residue is expected to have a ThO2 content of 1655ppm (corresponding) to a Th-232 activity concentration of 5.9Bq/g.” End Quote. This proves the waste is not anticipated to be much different radiologically from the product shipped from Australia. Concerning that product, I quote the same document page 28, “Consequently the rare earths concentrate, at a combined activity concentration of 6Bq/g, is not subject to the regulations and may be transported internationally as an ordinary non-hazardous material from a radiation safety point of view. In accordance with international standards, they pose such a low radiation hazard that there is no net benefit… Read more »

Kira
Kira
15 Nov 2011 6.06am

What basis do you actually have to say that the plant is not safe. How reviews have there been? How many Authorities have to waste their time doing inspections and writing reports that you people won’t accept? On your side – how many reports do you have by authorities which state that there is danger? Why are you still arguing when you haven’t got anything to argue about?

Erin Young
Erin Young
14 Nov 2011 9.12pm

Please be truthful and realistic and not be blinded by Lynas Corportion’s lies about how safe the LAMP is. It is far from being safe and I can write pages of reasons and facts why.

Malaysia do NOT have the capacity to manage the world’s largest rare earth plant. The people of Kuantan and surrounding towns have every right to decide for ourselves if we want this project or NOT.

In this case, most of us say NO to Lynas. In the first place we were not consulted so why should we take the risks to make a foreign corporation rich????

Only idiots think the project is worth keeping!

Soo Jin Hou
Soo Jin Hou
14 Nov 2011 6.15pm

You want facts, here are the facts:

http://wangsamajuformalaysia.blogspot.com/2011/09/permission-for-lynas-to-operate-in.html

The waste generated by the LAMP is classified as LLW according to UK’s standard. It “requires robust isolation and containment for periods of up to a few hundred years and is suitable for disposal in engineered near surface facilities.”

Lynas do not even have a permanent waste management plan. And currently Lynas’ storage ponds are prone to leaking (as per New York Times), surface runoff (as per the RIA) and very near the underground water (as per the PEIA). Who are you all trying to fool? Can Lynas guarantee absolutely no migration of contaminants for a few hundred years?

AntiFuziah
AntiFuziah
15 Nov 2011 7.30am
Reply to  Soo Jin Hou

They do have a long term waste management plan. It was one of the IEA recommendations, and they have submitted it. Although offcourse it would be subject to review and change (it is a long term plan afterall).

AntiFuziah
AntiFuziah
15 Nov 2011 7.32am
Reply to  Soo Jin Hou

Storage pond leake would only be an issue depending on what is stored in them. I would assume without any further detail that it would be liquid materials that would be stored there, and as far as I know the “ore” that is being brought in will be dry. This is a chemical plant. Offcourse they will have liquid storage… If you want to shut down Lynas, shut down the rest of the chemical indsustrial area they are a part of too. It’s too dangerours to process chemicals.

Rosie
Rosie
14 Nov 2011 4.19pm

The published levels of radiation are very low. Lower than many industries which are already operating. For example:- Lynas ore 28ppm Uranium, Coal – up to 400ppm uranium.

The original article is misguided, and shows very poor research of the facts.

Let the plant start operating. Monitor the activities, and if there are any issues, then shut them down.

Rare earths are a vital part of green technologies. Malaysia needs to invest in green technologies.

Isma
14 Nov 2011 11.20pm
Reply to  Rosie

Rosie and friends of Lynas. Please go through the article you are running down and try to answer the questions there instead of trying to answer your own questions. Mr D’cruz makes some analogy you don’t agree with and you find fault with the entire article. Initially I myself assumed the article was a bit alarmist but then I noticed the valid questions he asked and find myself thinking, what are the real answers?

ThomasT
ThomasT
19 Nov 2011 8.41am
Reply to  Rosie

Why are you talking green tech. Global warming?

The Antactic ice is at its thickest ever.
Arctic ice started freezing this year earlier than its previous early freeze record of 2007.

Sea levels are down 2.5cms.

The head of the now disgraced, (Climate-Gate), U of E Anglia Met. section, Prof Jones admitted.no warming for 10 years.

The planet is cooling. Carbon tax is a fraud. (C02 is .08%, water vapour is 3-4%).

Commonsense
Commonsense
14 Nov 2011 3.03pm

Is there anyone commenting on this actually from Malaysia? To think that there is all these people commenting on Lynas saying it is all good, nothing to worry about, have anyone of you actually been to Malaysia? I imagine if you have actually been to this country, you would ask yourself why is the Government allowing such a toxic dump to be built? Well it is all about money and greed from the top down. The people that have given Lynas the go ahead on this project should be tried for treason, that goes to all polotitians who currently support or do not have the … to stand up and do what is right for the people of Malaysia.

gsm_masha
gsm_masha
14 Nov 2011 2.54pm

Anti-Lynas groups just won’t accept the facts about rare earth processing plant…

http://www.nst.com.my/local/general/when-the-truth-is-hard-to-accept-1.5501

Kira
Kira
14 Nov 2011 12.26pm

It is always hard to trust people who tell you not to trust anybody else but them. There argument has gotten emotional and ugly. People are throwing their credentials around(real or fake, or even mildly related to the topic) How about establishing your points rather than just muddying the waters to obscure the facts? That is what lawyers do when they know they have evidence to argue their case.

The propaganda techniques are being applied more but the Anti Lynas groups than by anyone else. You have not established that the waste is any more toxic or radioactive than any other factory that is operating in Malaysia, and yet you think you have a case to argue. Lawyer tactics…..

Elroy Huckelberry
14 Nov 2011 12.02pm

You cannot compare Lynas with an Neuclear Plant. Then again by naming 3 Neuclear Plants that had problems, you should also mention all the Neuclear Plants in the world that don t. The latest incidence in Japan had everything to do with the Earth Quake and Sunami. Basically Mr D’Cruz is a trouble maker.It is a shame that a made of this age hasn t gotten to a state of understanding himself yet.

Phua Kai Lit
Phua Kai Lit
14 Nov 2011 11.20am

Don’t be deceived by Lynas and its propagandists.

We will not let them use Malaysia as a PERMANENT dumping ground for toxic and radioactive wastes.

Assoc Prof Phua Kai Lit (public health lecturer and Kuantan Boy)

Commonly used propaganda techniques:

http://library.thinkquest.org/C0111500/proptech.htm

Kira
Kira
14 Nov 2011 9.56am

Yes. There is an overriding theme int he responses to this article. It is either one person who intent on harassing you in cyber space or it is because everybody who reads it( except Soo Jin Hou) has the same opinion. Even he- isn’t going to argue that the factory is a nuclear facility. That the article is a result of misinformation. Please be principled in doing some research and then publish the retraction.

Soo Jin Hou
Soo Jin Hou
14 Nov 2011 8.59am

Scanspeak, yes Australia and US have approved rare earth refineries in their respective countries. Alkane and Arafura are developing their proposals and Molycorp is expanding its capacity.

But have you compared how incredibly stringent their waste management is? First of all, their wastes are returned to the mine, deep in the desert and away from populated areas. These permanent depositories receives hardly any rain. Compare that to Gebeng, which is wet year round, where underground water is very near the surface, and the plant next to the sea.

The regulators in Australia and US are also very strict. Molycorp was forced to shutdown their plant due to contamination. The Ashton proposal was tied to 41 commitments.

http://wangsamajuformalaysia.blogspot.com/2011/09/permission-for-lynas-to-operate-in.html

Stop lying to the Malaysian public.

Kira
Kira
14 Nov 2011 6.34am

You can tell by the volume and theme of the comments. There is an acute lack of substance and fact in the article. The author is too far wrong and uninformed on the topic to be writing about it. Please spend some time doing so research and then write a retraction. The best redemption you can have is to actually find the base facts. Let’s not argue about truth. But the basic facts are that it is not a nuclear facility and poses no nuclear threat and that people have nothing to fear from the factory.

Aliran
Aliran
14 Nov 2011 9.39am
Reply to  Kira

There is at least one person here posting comments under different names.

AntiFuziah
AntiFuziah
15 Nov 2011 7.25am
Reply to  Aliran

Ooo, one person, that’s a lot – ehm… not…

Fuziahtheignorant
Fuziahtheignorant
14 Nov 2011 3.29am

It’s too bad so many well meaning people can be duped by this kind of distortion of the truth.
Gasoline is dangerous and we manage it’s use.
I would caution everyone not to go out and eat big handfuls of REE tailing’s. I would also caution people not to drink a big glass of petrol.

ThomasT
ThomasT
19 Nov 2011 9.26am

I would also caution you not to use nor drink ANY water there when the plant starts up.

The New York Times reported last October, that the tailings pond at Baotou, China is leaking an underground bloom of thorium that is moving toward the Yellow River at 300 meters per year; the river is 7 kilometers away. The Chinese have since confirmed this.

The Lynas chairman Nicholas Curtis claims that they have permission from the government to store the waste onsite forever. On the other hand, AELB’s (Atomic Energy Licensing Board) director general Raja Datuk Abdul Aziz Raja refutes that claim in saying that the plant can only store waste temporarily. If the onsite storage is temporary, where will the waste be shipped to next? It will definitely not be bound for its place of origin Australia, after Western Australian minister for mines and petroleum, fisheries and electoral affairs Norman Moore flatly rejected calls to take back Lynas’ radioactive waste.

Jonathan
Jonathan
13 Nov 2011 10.02pm

In this country …only the educated tend to fight what clearly is a wrong in society. The majority who dont know the facts, cant understand them or even dont care are ultimately the the majority who vote in an incompetent government leaving Malaysia at the edge of the cliff..

Much as we abhorr violence…it was ultimately that that brought change to Tunisia, Egypt, etc….

With every foolish decision the government is taking, they are actually digging their own grave, pent up anger ….

Malaysia hopelessly needs a change of government…the days of BN/PAP, etc are coming to a close. Its a different world today.

Erin Young
Erin Young
13 Nov 2011 9.54pm

Every concern citizen in Malaysia should proactively campaign to stop the Lynas rare earth plant for the sake of paving the way for a cleaner and safer Malaysia for now and for the future.

If the Lynas plant goes ahead despite such strong opposition from the people of Kuantan, it will make Malaysia a haven for toxic projects from advanced industrialised nations which are facing increasingly tough environmental and social standards as well as tighter greenhouse gas emission and higher carbon tax.

Malaysia is a beautiful country with lush forests, beautiful coastline and relatively clean rivers and lakes. Let us act now to prevent our country from ruins!

Lok1
Lok1
13 Nov 2011 9.17pm

Dear Mr MN D’Cruz,there is nothing in this dear land of ours that is not sold or auction off,raped,violated,or hijacked, including it’s citizen,you n I can write a whole load of letters n it’s still will be ignored,there is but 1 thing only to do,is to spread the news far n wide,nationally n internationally,n when the time comes to vote,please do yourself a favour n vote with your conscience n we still can save our children’s future,Insha Allah.

Bernard Teng
Bernard Teng
13 Nov 2011 1.43pm

I think, seriously the GOM SHOULD stop Lynas from operating anywhere in Malaysia. It’s too high a risk to take for our future generations.

Morphy101
Morphy101
14 Nov 2011 6.50am
Reply to  Bernard Teng

Did you actually read the msg before yours!!!? How ignorant can you be?

Rollo
Rollo
13 Nov 2011 12.24pm

Open disclosure of health and safety facts mean very little to the opponents of the Lynas plant in Malaysia because many are playing a political game. Notably, Fuziah Salleh has been creating fear to gain votes in Malaysia’s 2012 election, in my opinion. This ethnic Chinese lady who is Member of Parliament has been actively organizing against Lynas, some say, ever since China was prohibited by the Australian gov’t from buying Lynas. I do not know if that point of view has merit but clearly China is very interested in Malaysian affairs concerning Lynas, perhaps because they currently enjoy a 95%-98% monopoly on rare earth elements and may be reluctant to share that market. I do not suggest Fuziah Salleh is a surrogate for China’s national interests in Malaysia but is it credible to believe no one is? Nor am I suggesting M N D’Cruz is a surrogate, I believe he has a genuine heart for Malaysia. However, I will respectfully dispute some of his points. Fuziah Salleh and others create unwarranted radiation fear by comparing the Lynas facility to Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima.… Read more »

ThomasT
ThomasT
19 Nov 2011 8.59am
Reply to  Rollo

Hey ho Rollo, Lynas misinformer.. How about.. The New York Times reported last October, that the tailings pond at Baotou, China is leaking an underground bloom of thorium that is moving toward the Yellow River at 300 meters per year; the river is 7 kilometers away. The Chinese have since confirmed this. BUT, meanwhile, back at the (Malaysian) ranch… The Lynas chairman Nicholas Curtis claims that they have permission from the government to store the waste onsite forever. On the other hand, AELB’s (Atomic Energy Licensing Board) director general Raja Datuk Abdul Aziz Raja refutes that claim in saying that the plant can only store waste temporarily. If the onsite storage is temporary, where will the waste be shipped to next? It will definitely not be bound for its place of origin Australia, after Western Australian minister for mines and petroleum, fisheries and electoral affairs Norman Moore flatly rejected calls to take back Lynas’ radioactive waste. And millios of tons of waste is GUARANTEED by Rollo and his/her gang never to leak into the ground water table. Right!! Lucky Rollo and his gang of Lynas misinformers… Read more »

rollo
rollo
23 Nov 2011 6.09pm
Reply to  ThomasT

In Baotou, China neither the IAEA nor the ALEB were asked to investigate and judge the safety of their operation. Odd that some refuse to acknowledge that Malaysia’s approach is radically different. Among the weak-minded emotional fear often rules over intellect. Among others its feed fear, gain votes.

Aliran
Aliran
23 Nov 2011 7.13pm
Reply to  rollo

“One must understand the IAEA as a lobbyist for the interests of the nuclear industry acting on an international level. Then everything will fall into its correct place – and the IAEA’s announcements will cease to be taken for some “guarantee of safety.” One must relate to them without emotion, like any other commercial image-spinning advertisement.”

http://www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2011/IAEA_Commment_japan

rollo
rollo
24 Nov 2011 7.33am
Reply to  Aliran

Although the IAEA’s scientific calculations may be inconvenient to your position and pleasure, I ask is it reasonable to question the integrity of a tape measure if a measurement isn’t found as you desire? If you are suggesting neither the IAEA nor their instruments can be trusted please consult another source.

The ALEB has both the equipment and the ability to verify the IAEA’s report. Why would the ALEB allow a Baotou in Malaysia? And, why would the IAEA desire one there? Surely, no one can honestly believe either circumstance. It is time to put aside the notion that only those like-minded have integrity.

Isma
13 Nov 2011 12.08pm

A well researched and well written piece. It all boils down to transparency, or rather the lack of it, on the part of the concerned authorities – all of whom are BN/UMNO connected. No two ways about, BN/UMNO must go in order for real change to take place. PR must show they have their machinery in place, well oiled and practiced too.

AntiFuziah
AntiFuziah
13 Nov 2011 10.53am

Idiot.. Boone have died from radiation from fukushima. In case you missed it, there was a small thing called tsunami that killed people! Even in the nuclear plant itself some people died from tsunami, but 0 from radiation. When will Malaysians understand that this Lynascorp plant is no nuclear power plant?

AntiFuziah
AntiFuziah
14 Nov 2011 6.14am
Reply to  AntiFuziah

Boone = Noone (I blame mobile phone auto correct:)

ThomasT
ThomasT
19 Nov 2011 8.34am
Reply to  AntiFuziah

WRONG.. 104 dead from radiation at Fukushima according to the alternate media, (link from rense.com), NOT the untruthful Govt. censored mainstream media.

viker
viker
13 Nov 2011 10.39am

Such an emo tirade of historic irrelevancies and numerous ‘hanging questions’ sounds like Fuziah. Is it because?..why this?.. why that?.. concerning this totally modern cutting edge chemical factory Fact: Bukit Merah workers sprinkled super high Thorium dirt on their veggie patches!!Fact: China backyard factories dumped waste with NO care! Repeat of Bukit Merah?..as if! Rejected in its own country?..No,wrong! ‘Anyone’s guess’..r u kidding? ‘Not hijack for politics’..What???

jeff
jeff
13 Nov 2011 8.29am

Shame on you Aliran for lying to the people about the severity of the radiation issue at the LAMP.
I was under the impression that your founding principals were to uphold truth and watch out for the peoples well being?
If you truly are concerned for the people of Maylasia, you will give them truth, not lies.

Aliran
Aliran
14 Nov 2011 12.03am
Reply to  jeff

Why are you posting the same comments using different names, jeff … or is it morton?

Truth Seeker
Truth Seeker
13 Nov 2011 3.36am

Everyone’s learning the TRUTH about the smear comapaing against the SAFE Lynas plant. Politicians, please look after the interests of Malaysia as a whole, not just your own interests.

Truth Seeker
Truth Seeker
13 Nov 2011 3.34am

Please stope deleting my comments. Aliron is clearly biased and not concerned with truth.

Aliran
Aliran
14 Nov 2011 12.01am
Reply to  Truth Seeker

These comments are moderated before being published. There is a delay in moderating comments during weekends.

Truth Seeker
Truth Seeker
13 Nov 2011 3.33am

Mr. D’Cruz is not a scientist, and is therefore unqualified to judge the safety of the Lynas plant. His comparisons of the plant to Chernobyl are hyperbolic and bizarre. His ramblings are part of an ongoing campaign to create fear among Malaysian people for the benefit of a few within the polical elite. The plant is safe from a scientific point of view, and will contribute to the economic development of Malaysia.

morton
morton
13 Nov 2011 12.44am

Why do you site 3 nuclear plants as examples?
The Lynas plant processes dirt.
The teenie tiny amount of radioactivity in the dirt is “not”… i repeat “not” hazardous if handled properly.
Fear mongerer!
You “must” have an agenda. Somebody is paying you to spread fear, or you are just ignorant.

scanspeak
scanspeak
12 Nov 2011 11.14pm

Why would you even mention a chemical refinery such as Lynas in the same sentence as NUCLEAR plants like Chernobyl, Fukishima and Three Mile Island? Complete nonsense.
There are 2 rare earth plants being constructed in Australia – see Arafura and Alkane Resources. There’s also one in California USA. Safe enough for them, why not for you?
Western Australia has NO WATER. They have to used a desalination plant. Thats one of the many reasons why Malaysia was favoured (despite being given approval there a few years ago).
The finished product will NOT be taken back to Australia. They will be used in electronics and other products manufactured in Malaysia, China, Japan, etc.
The LAMP is located in an chemical estate, amongst many other chemical and petroleum refineries. Do you want to close down ALL of them too?

Truth Seeker
Truth Seeker
12 Nov 2011 10.13pm

Mr. D’Cruz is not a scientist, nor in any other way qualified to judge the safety of the Lynas plant. This is simply a continuation of the politically motivated spreading of fear that we’ve had to endure for several months now. To illicit fear Mr D’Cruz, strangely, sites Chernobyl, 3 Mile island and Fukishima. I would site Silicon Valley and Shanghai as examples of what can result from the economic benefits deriving from projects such as the Lynas plant. Again, from a factual standpoint the plant is safe. Do not be frightened by politicians looking to further their own ambitions! The claims made by Mr. D’Cruz are not backed up by science and are not true.

ThomasT
ThomasT
19 Nov 2011 8.28am
Reply to  Truth Seeker

Truth Seeker, alias Lynas Misinformer. Pse comment on..China’s rare earth industry each year produces more than five times the amount of waste gas, including deadly fluorine and sulfur dioxide, than the total flared annually by all miners and oil refiners in the U.S. Alongside that 13 billion cubic meters of gas comes 25 million tons of waste water laced with cancer-causing heavy metals such as cadmium.