Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Press Statement

Cabinet Must Stop Lynas From Polluting Malaysia

10th April 2019

Together with Greenpeace Malaysia, SMSL is joined by hundreds of concerned Malaysians to demand that Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad and his Pakatan Harapan Cabinet take actions to protect Malaysia and to stop Australian Lynas Corporation from polluting the environment. Over 60 organisations have endorsed a memorandum with a list of demands which will be presented to Cabinet and the Parliamentary Caucus on Lynas.

Mr Tan Bun Teet, Chairman for SMSL says, “We welcome Tun’s announcement last Friday to impose a new condition requiring Lynas to only bring in semi-processed radioactive-free feedstock for refining through its Malaysian plant. However, what is going to happen to the half a million tonnes of toxic radioactive waste and the nearly 1.2 million tonnes of scheduled waste that Lynas has generated to date? These wastes have already polluted our environment. The pollution must be STOPPED immediately.”

Lynas’ hazards are cancer-causing radioactive thorium and uranium; and other toxic elements from heavy metals, arsenic and chemicals found in the water-leached purification stream of its wastes that should have been isolated from the environment.

Radioactive waste increases the background radiation. More seriously, the fine particulates of Lynas’ waste may find their way into the lungs and organs of people who must breathe, drink, and eat. Contaminated groundwater moves into streams and rivers to pollute the aquatic ecosystem. The flood-prone low-lying Balok peat mangrove is never the right place for Lynas’ toxic waste dump.

Dr Yu Siew Hong, a local GP from Kuantan warns, “We cannot afford to wait until local people begin showing symptoms of cancer and other chronic illnesses linked to Lynas’ hazards. Lynas has no place in Malaysia.”

The Ministerial decision requiring Lynas to remove its toxic radioactive waste from Malaysia is not a new condition. It is an enforcement of Lynas’ licence condition to hold Lynas to task over its 2012 undertaking for getting the operating licence.

“A couple of Cabinet Ministers have appeared not to have learnt from the expensive bitter lessons from Lynas in Pahang and the toxic fume disaster in Johor. Today, we are here also to remind them that Rakyat will not tolerate Ministers who do not act to protect our environment and wellbeing of the community.” Mr Tan explains.

Samples of ‘toxic’ waste will be handed out to Entrepreneur Development Minister Redzuan Yusof who challenged the Ministerial decision on Lynas earlier; and Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar who lifted the bauxite mining ban in Pahang.

“Our environment is our precious national asset which we must protect for now and for many generations to come.” Concludes Dr Yu

For further comments, please contact: Mr Tan Bun Teet : +60 179 730 576

or Dr Yu Siew Hong : +60 12-900 7785

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