Press statement of Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL)
Judicial Review of the Lynas Temporary Operating Licence
August 24th, 2012
Today SMSL notifies the public and the media of the upcoming judicial review hearing at the Kuantan High Court, Bandar Indera Mahkota Kuantan Court Complex on 28th August 2012(Tuesday) at 9.00am.
Mr Tan Bun Teet, the spokesperson from SMSL explains, “We are appealing against the approval granted to Lynas of a temporary operating licence (TOL) for the rare earth refinery plant. The court will consider our application next week.”
“Since last March when we first heard of the Lynas project, we have sought advice from relevant experts. As responsible citizens, we have written to raise our concerns with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and also the Prime Minister. None has addressed the issues we have raised. Then we facilitated concerned citizens to appeal to the MOSTI Minister with expert information and evidence we have obtained about the Lynas project. The Minister has also let us down.” Continues Mr Tan.
The Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) and the MOSTI responded by imposing conditions on Lynas but did not suspend the TOL despite the risks to our environment, the local economy, and human health.
“All we have seen so far are recommendations and conditions. How has the Government and Lynas met the recommendations from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)? What have Lynas done to satisfy the Government’s conditions? Where is the transparency which the IAEA has emphasized?” Asked Haji Ismail Abu Bakar who earlier appealed to MOSTI to cancel the TOL.
He added “people’s livelihoods will be affected. Kuantan will be a sad place if the Lynas plant starts to operate. The government has failed in its duty of care to protect us rakyat and the environment which we rely on for our survival.”
Residents of Kuantan area and concerned citizens all around Malaysia including those from Sabah and Sarawak, have voiced out their strong opposition to the Lynas project in the last 18 months. The Stop Lynas campaign is now Malaysia’s biggest ever environmental campaign known to the media all over the world.
“Our life has changed since we learnt of the Lynas rare earth project. How can we live in peace and do nothing when the Government, especially the AELB has failed to properly and safely deal with the now closed Bukit Merah rare earth plant?” Questions Ram, a Kuantan resident and a SMSL volunteer.
Legal actions are being explored and prepared in Australia as well and SMSL has the support of the Environmental Defenders Office and other established law firms in WA and Sydney as well as concerned Australians and civil society groups there.
For more information on the Lynas project, please refer to “Outstanding Issues of the LAMP” attached (and as below).
Lynas is the world’s biggest rare earth plant.
Malaysia is a tiny country with a poor track record of handling pollution and radioactive materials.
Rare Earth refining involves massive amounts of hazardous chemicals and substances and produces enormous amount of toxic and radioactive waste that can pollute our air, our water and the land as well as our food chain.
Lynas has ZERO track record - in the construction, operation and maintenance of rare earth plant.
Lynas has ZERO track record in toxic radioactive waste management.
Lynas do not have a safe way to handle its mammoth amount of wastes.
Lynas cannot ship the radioactive waste out of Malaysia because of international law and Australia has refused to take back Lynas’ waste. Which third country will want to accept Lynas’ radioactive waste?
Lynas has still not found a safe way to permanently store its radioactive waste. Where is Lynas’ waste recycling plant? Why should we allow Lynas to dump massive amount of hazardous waste tax free in Malaysia?
Lynas has proposed to recycle its gypsum waste but experience elsewhere has shown that by-products made from recycling contaminated gypsum are problematic:
● Contaminated gypsum used in new homes blamed for homeowners' nightmare check http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-
● Gypsum contaminated with sulphur from the flue gas desulphurisation residue is a health hazard and it is corrosivehttp://www.ehow.com/info_
● Fertilisers from industrial gypsum waste are not safe and are not legally permitted in Australia http://www.environment.nsw.gov
Kuantan coast is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Malaysia
Who will want to spend their holiday next to the world’s largest rare earth refinery plant?
The tourism and seafood industry employ MORE workers than Lynas with less occupational health and safety risks than Lynas.
Think about it,
Why should tax paying citizens live in the shadow of Lynas’ pollution?
Why should we sacrifice SO MUCH for a foreign company which do NOT have to pay a single cent in taxes?
Why should we take the risk to suffer for the profit for an Australian company?
REMEMBER: the Department of Environment and the AELB onlywork from 9 to 5 pm
Who will check Lynas' chimney at night?
Who will test Lynas’ massive amount of contaminated water every hour?
Who will check how Lynas’ will pollute our environment after a heavy downpour or a storm?
Who will test the seafood caught from the South China Sea outside the Balok River mouth?
Who will test that the water we will be drinking is safe?
Who will do the test on our birdnests?
All the talk about round the clock monitoring and having radioactivity counter in different locations are gimmicks to fool the unsuspected. We All know Malaysia’s abysmally bad track record!!
Lynas’ pollution is far harder, more massive and more complex to track than what our Government is capable of dealing with.
Our Government has not even safely tackled the Bukit Merah ARE waste. Victims of Bukit Merah disaster are left to fend for themselves. No health research was carried out despite the high death tolls and health issues.
Now the government approved of another rare earth plant ten times BIGGER!!!