Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Ministerial Hearing to Appeal Against the Lynas Licences

Press statement of Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL)
April 17, 2012


This morning, forty (40) Kuantan residents embarked on a 300-km journey before dawn to lend their support to three residents, their lawyer and independent professional experts who will appeal to Datuk Maximus Ongkili, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) to suspend licences approved by its Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) for the Lynas rare earth refinery in Gebeng near Kuantan.

SMSL and their supporters and a range of civil society groups have gathered outside the office of Nuclear Malaysia in Bangi, Selangor to show their solidarity with the appeal team.

“I have learnt from the various experts that this refinery project is dangerous.  It will pollute our environment and contaminate our food and water.  Our health will be affected.  We can get cancer from Lynas’ pollution.” Said Haji Ismail Abu Bakar, a Kuantan resident and SMSL’s spokesperson.

He added, “This project must be stopped. I appeal to the Minister because so many people who will be affected from the kampung are too afraid to speak out. They do not have the means to do it. I am a retired public servant.  I have nothing to lose to speak out.”

One of the three appellants is Madam Abu Javalli V. Raman, another resident from Taman Tas in Ktn.  Madam Abu Javali.  She explained,

“Kuantan is a clean, fresh and beautiful town.  I love this place.  Radiation is colourless, odourless and dangerous.  I have visited Bukit Merah and have seen the pain, the suffering of mothers and family there.  I will do everything possible to stop the Lynas project.  I do not want to be another victim of rare earth pollution. We don’t need this plant.”

Haji Ismail and Madam Abu Javalli are joined by Mr Tan Ah Meng, a lime farmer near the Lynas rare earth plant.  Ah Meng dropped his day’s work in the farm to go to Bangi for the appeal.  He said,

“I am a farmer.  I do not want Lynas’ waste to become fertilisers which will be sold to farmers like me to contaminate my fruits.  If rare earth waste is so safe, the Chinese would have sold it for money.  Why would they dump it everywhere in Baotou to pollute the place?”

Mr Tan Bun Teet, another SMSL’s spokesperson  clarified the purpose of the appeal,
“SMSL has to pursue this ministerial appeal before we take the matter to the court.  We have to prove to the court that we have exhausted all avenues.”

“We are giving our Minister one last chance to do the right thing by the people, to exercise his power and to give due consideration to the people’s well beings and the country’s future and to heed our independent experts’ advice.  If the Minister failed in his duty of care to protect citizens and our nation from Lynas’ harm, then SMSL will file an application through the Kuantan High Court to seek an injunction on all licences approved by the AELB for the Lynas operations.”  Concluded Mr Tan.

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