Thursday, 19 April 2012

AELB makes a suspicious move again

SMSL Media Statement on AELB’s media briefing at LAMP on 19th April 2012

April 6, 2012 : AELB - a watchdog or a running dog for Lynas ?

Since the approval of the TOL by AELB on the 31st Jan 2012 to Lynas Malaysia which was awarded within 2 working days after the residents in Kuantan submitted more than One Thousand comments and suggestions to the atomic energy authorities, AELB has been trying real hard to convince the public that, by doing so, they have acted in the interest of the public through weekly media briefing with regards to the safety of the plant.

Previously, all media briefings by AELB were carried out in their own premises but this time they’ve taken the trouble to transport all participating journalists from various media to Lynas Advance Materials Plant (LAMP) which is located 289km away from the AELB office.  

On the 17th April 2012, the minister of MOSTI, Dato Seri Dr. Maximus Ongkili hosts an appeal hearing from the appellants that presented strong cogent alternative views on why the TOL should be revoked. The minister has yet to make any decisions but AELB once again is putting the cart before the horse by conducting their weekly media briefing in LAMP which is inappropriate and unethical as it is a sign of prejudice towards Lynas Malaysia. AELB being one of the departments under MOSTI has acted in a manner that reeks of open support for Lynas Malaysia.

Are AELB and journalists invited by Lynas Malaysia to hold the media briefing in LAMP or is it the unitary decision by AELB to have it there?  Since the appeal to the minister to withdraw the TOL is still pending, AELB should steer clear of any shades of suspicion by the public where it should have the wisdom to its regular weekly media briefing in its office. It will not only save the tax payers unnecessary expenditures but help to maintain an image of impartiality! We regret the move by AELB to hold the media briefing in a place that is the centre of dispute between the residents of Kuantan and Lynas Malaysia, as AELB is an interested party. Such imprudence speaks volumes of its lack of integrity and its readiness to assist an interested party that will heavily pollute the air, water and its land that sustained the livelihood of 700,000 people!

We condemn unreservedly this move by AELB by not taking into consideration the feelings of the local populations and the arbitration underway by its Ministry! We call upon Dato Seri Dr. Maximus Ongkili to be more responsive in his role as a Minister elected by the people to serve the rakyat by instructing AELB to act and play its role impartially. A watchdog should at no time be turned into a running dog!

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