Protest outside Parliament over rare earth plant

Posted on March 30, 2011. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Star-

KUALA LUMPUR: A group wearing black shirts that read “Save Malaysia” gathered outside the Parliament grounds here Wednesday, protesting the controversial rare earth plant in Gebeng, Kuantan.

Members in the group, who claimed they were “ordinary people’ living in Kuantan, held up placards that read “Selamatkan Kuantan” (Save Kuantan) and “Hentikan Lynas” (Halt Lynas).

Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh (PKR) was seen leading the group.

One protestor said they arrived in four buses and most of the protestors lived within 20km of the plant.

They were stopped by the police from proceeding up the Parliament grounds.

The group dispersed around 10.30am.

The plant, being built by Australian mining company Lynas Corporation, has drawn flak from residents and critics after an article published in the New York Times highlighted the dangers of radioactive waste left behind from rare earth processing.

On Tuesday, said MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the public must be consulted first before a licence was given to Lynas to operate the plant.

Liow said there was a need to alleviate the public’s fears and urged the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) to consider all public views to ensure the plant was safe.

Liow, who is also Pahang MCA chairman, also hoped that the AELB would ensure that all applications and licensing procedures were conducted transparently.

He added that the MCA, the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Pahang and the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Pahang branch) had sent a memorandum to Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili to ask for the plant to adhere to international standards.

The plant is slated to begin production in September, making it a key global supplier with earnings of up to US$1.7bil (RM54mil) a year.

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: