CONSUMERIST: LYNAS PROTEST- ENGAGE AUSTRALIANS AND THEIR CIVIL SOCIETY!

Dato Jacob George

‘I am surprised that instead of ‘proactive and positive’ engagement Lynas Executive Chairman Nicholas Curtis indulges in political rhetoric so common, among our rubbished politicians!

It is not for Nicholas to dismiss Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh’s view as only one view within or to state that the opposition party PAS party supported the Lynas plant or any other such arguments.

It is also not for an Australian to preach to us Malaysians, what is stable for foreign direct investment in Malaysia!

Let me remind him that we got rid of our colonial masters way back in 1957!’ – Dr Jacob George

 

CONSUMERIST: LYNAS PROTEST- ENGAGE AUSTRALIANS AND THEIR CIVIL SOCIETY!

Big mistake really big for Australia’s Lynas Corp to warn against any move by Malaysia’s political opposition to shut the company’s $200 million rare earths processing plant, saying that such action would deter other foreign investment in the country!

First of all this has nothing to do with opposition politics like Lynas may want us to believe!

The history of the Malaysian struggle led by NGOs and the civil society groups against hazardous, life, environmental wrecking and threatening industry started decades ago when we took on Asia Rare Earth in Perak!

Yes, I should know as my many colleagues in Penang then and I were ‘part and parcel’ of that struggle!

I am surprised that instead of proactive and positive engagement Lynas Executive Chairman Nicholas Curtis indulges in political rhetoric so common among our rubbished politicians!

It is not for Nicholas to dismiss Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh’s view as only one view within or to state that the opposition party PAS party supported the Lynas plant.

It is also not for an Australian to preach to us Malaysians what is stable for foreign direct investment in Malaysia!

Let me remind him that we got rid of our colonial masters way back in 1957!

Of course I am aware that we have many Malaysian politicians who behave worse than our former colonial masters and more Arab than the Arabs hypocritically!

But that argument is for another day!

But let me remind Lynas operatives, their political and business sympathizers and benefactors that the massive presence of Malaysians of all walks of life, races, religious creeds, political affirmations and age group difference show how wrong it was both ethically, legally and by convention for the Malaysia’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) to prematurely give the plant a temporary permit to operate in late January.

The backlash against Lynas continued in several cities nationwide against the plant in Kuantan town in the state of Pahang, 195 kilometers east of Kuala Lumpur.

Of course we are not stupid to realize that Lynas expects to process up to 22,000 tons of rare earths annually, or about 20 per cent of the world market, at the Malaysian facility scheduled to start operation later this year.

It hopes to generate some 8 billion ringgit (2.66 billion dollars) in annual revenues.

The firm also took arrogant stunts and seemed to have taken the upper hand in its struggle to operate the facility after Malaysia’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) gave the plant a temporary permit to operate in late January.

But the residents also refused to back down without a fight and asked the Court of Appeals to review and reverse the board’s decision.

The plaintiffs say radioactive waste from the 200-million-dollar facility poses environmental risks and hazards to human health.

Their concern was not without basis as I pointed out after a rare-earth facility in the northern state of Perak, operated by a unit of Japanese Mitsubishi chemicals, was closed down in 1992 amid accusations that it had caused birth defects and leukaemia to nearby residents and workers.

That facility became one of Asia’s largest radioactive waste cleanup sites, and the Japanese company spent more than 100 million dollars to clean up the mess. But as expected of corporate and industry arrogance, like pariah Bhopal before them it denied responsibility for the health problems suffered by the residents.

One would have thought that based on the extensive documents and information available on such ‘trafficking of hazardous industry’ Malaysia’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) would have had the moral and ethical courage to stand by the people!

It is ironic but a fact that Australian legislation stipulates that Australia will not accept responsibility for any waste product produced from offshore processing of resources purchased in Australia such as iron ore, mineral sands and the rare earth produced by Lynas Corporation!

In fact, this has been confirmed by Norman Moore, Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum!

So I am curious why Malaysia’s Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan, AELB director-general, continued to rally on the board’s decision, saying returning the waste to Australia was part of a number of options, if not the ultimate, final resort.

We are also told they also have Plan B, C and D in place!

Really that efficient and professional, Mr DG?

Can you care to make these now public in view of the massive public interest already shown by over 20,000 Malaysians in Kuantan, Pahang and few other thousands in other major Malaysian states!

Can we have some transparent engagement and discourse on facts and allow the civil society and the community who will bear the blunt of it all, WHEN not IF there is an contamination, exposure certainly NOT politicians on a very fragile political lease to decide the next course of action or engaged thugs, rascals and hooligans (above) provoking, inciting, uttering seditious utterances, vulgarities to create turmoil to disrupt civil liberties and peaceful assembly and the will of the enlightened Malaysian people and voters!

BEWARE OF IT CONMAN TVVS SWAMI@ SATYAM TADIKONDA (Photo Below) – IF you see him Alert the Malaysian Police/Immigration:

 

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