Citizens to take to the street to stop Lynas
Press Statement of Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) February 24, 2012
SMSL urges the authorities to exercise restraint to allow citizens their democratic rights and to give them the
space to peacefully express themselves in the forthcoming Sunday’s Himpunan Hijau 2.0 rally in Kuantan.
Chairperson of SMSL, Mr Tan Bun Teet explained, “The people have fought hard to stop Lynas and a number of other environmental problems. It is our duty as responsible and caring citizens to keep our country and our family safe.”
Earlier this month, a temporary operating licence was issued to Lynas Malaysia, a wholly owned operation of Australia’s Lynas Corporation,for its controversial rare earth refinery plant in Gebeng, an industrial estate about 20 km from Kuantan.
“We have tried every possible avenue and yet the Government has gone ahead with its bad decision which threatens our future. It is understandable that this will spark outrage and anger amongst people.” Said Haji Ismail Abu Bakar, Vice-Chairperson of SMSL.
He added, “Many families living in kampungs along the coast in Pahang will be directly affected once Lynas starts to dump its waste water into the South China Sea. These families depend on the seafood and tourism industry. They run small businesses to sustain their livelihoods. Who will want to buy contaminated seafood? Who will want to holiday next to a toxic plant?”
SMSL is disappointed that the Government has not taken on board grave concerns of the public which leave the people no choice but to take to the street to protest. The injustice is felt everywhere, not just in Kuantan but the whole of Malaysia. The good reputation of Malaysia is at stake over the handling of this issue.
The Lynas issue is a problem for ALL Malaysians. The pollution will spread over a wide area,even into our ASEAN neighbours through the South China Sea. Contaminated seafood and agricultural produce can create serious food safety issue not just for the people of Kuantan but to all the consumers of agriculture and seafood and seafood products. Air pollution from the Lynas plant can be carried far and wide by the north eastern monsoon wind.
Where will Lynas find a permanent location for its waste? Which state in Malaysia or which town in Pahang will be the next target?
Having a polluting industry will deter investment from clean technology and ethical companies which is the way of the future. Rare earth oxides are crucial raw materials but locating it in an ecologically sensitive area so close to so many families is a bad and regressive move.
“SMSL has engaged a strong team of experts to prepare for our legal action with the help of the Pahang Bar. We have strong grounds and we want to leave no stone unturned to present the strongest possible case. Letting Lynas operate is NOT an option.”
This Sunday, SMSL and our members and supporters will be gathering next to the site of the previous tennis court near Padang MPK4 at Jalan Kemunting to meet and greet our interstate supporters. We want to thank them in person for their tremendous effort and support to create a better future for Malaysia.
SMSL will also be present at the Teluk Cempedak precinct on Saturday night to provide the public with information on the Lynas project.