Press statement for “Bury Lynas with Your Change”
Kuantan Elders Calls for Support to Stop Lynas
22th January 2013
Four respected local residents En. Haji Ismail Abu Bakar, Mr. Ram Punusamy, Mr. Lim Siow Teow and Mdm. Shee Mei Lin on concerned Malaysians and supporters overseas to do their bit to bring about a better change for Malaysia and to help their friends pay Lynas for the court costs.
Lynas has wasted no time to remind residents Mr. Tan Bun Teet, Pn. Hashimah and En. Syed Talib to pay RM 10,000.00 in court costs.
Haji Ismail Abu Bakar, a friend of the three appellants said, “our friends have courageously taken up the legal battle for all of our sake. We are part and parcel of this struggle. Spare your change now to Stop Lynas!”
On the 19th December 2012, the appeal court of Malaysia dismissed Kuantan residents’ appeal for to seek a temporary court order to suspend the Lynas Temporary Operating Licence (TOL). RM10K was awarded to Lynas and the government each.
“The judges have completely disregarded the duty of care of the government and the social responsibility of the Lynas Corporation by imposing a hefty financial burden on caring and hardworking citizens who have been paying taxes to the country.” A disappointed but not defeated resident Mr. Ram Punusamy explained.
The cases and the appeal were supported by affidavits full of warnings for Malaysia issued by sincere independent experts from Malaysia and overseas. The judges ruled that it was pre-matured to suspend Lynas’ licence even on a temporary basis until the judicial review cases are heard.
“Do we really need to wait until our health suffers, livelihoods lost, environment irreversibly damaged and our economy ruined before the court delivers the much needed decision?” asks Mr. Lim Siow Teow a retired businessman who has done more than his fair share to raise public awareness of the Lynas issue despite his advanced age.
In most developed nations, the precautionary principle is adopted when there is a lack of scientific consensus on the risks and if they are serious enough to warrant caution. In the case of Lynas, the Government has persistently brushed aside this very important principle despite its abysmal track record in handling the Bukit Merah tragedy where a rare earth plant 10 times smaller was found to be dumping toxic radioactive waste everywhere! The plant is now closed but not all the contaminated sites have been cleaned up.
“If we cannot manage the Bukit Merah plant safely, how can the Government regulate and manage a plant like Lynas which is at least ten times bigger?? Can Malaysia ever hope to become a developed nation if we continue to behave like a third world country?” asked Haji Ismail.
Lynas has no way of shipping its radioactive waste out of Malaysia and yet the government has allowed Lynas to start the dumping. No detailed environmental impact assessment has yet been done despite the plant being the world’s largest rare earth plant.
Mdm. Shee said “As a mother and a resident, I cannot accept that the government simply allowed Lynas to start operating to pollute our air, our water and our land – all tax free. “
All four residents lamented that “this Government has failed the people and the country. Let’s spare a few coins to show the government and Lynas that we care and we WANT CHANGE! We will join the Stop Lynas campaign to fight until the end for a better Malaysia!”