PM: Govt won’t compromise on projects that jeopardise public safety

Posted on April 23, 2011. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Star-

PEKAN: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Saturday the government would not compromise on projects that jeopardise public safety and well-being.

Commenting on the project undertaken by Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Lynas Corporation from Australia, Najib said an independent panel comprising experts would carry out a study on the safety aspects and impact arising from the contentious rare earth plant.

Najib (middle) looking at some of the products being displayed at Pahang Entrepreneurs Carnival in Pekan.

“We have decided, firstly that we will not compromise in terms of public safety and well-being, we give top priority to public security and health,” he told reporters after opening the general meeting of the Pahang chapter of the Malaysian Malay Contractors Association, here.

Najib said the panel would be given one month to undertake a study on the matter before preparing the report.

“The project must not jeopardise public security and health, and in line with this principle, we will set up a panel of experts made up of those who are extremely skilled in areas pertaining to the Lynas project to study all aspects within the next one month.

“They will come up with a report, and based on this report, the government will make a final decision,” Najib said.

The Prime Minister hoped everyone would remain calm and let the panel carry out a detailed study.

“Let the panel of experts make its detailed study and come up with recommendations to the government.

“What should be done is based on the main principles, that public health and security must not be compromised. We will also not allow (the plant) to carry out pre-operations until a final decision is made,” he said.

On Friday, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said that an independent panel would be set up as soon as possible to carry out a study on the health and security aspects arising from the setting up of the plant and it was hoped that the report would ease the concern of Kuantan residents and explain the actual situation to those who had politicised the issue.

Mustapa had said that no pre-operations licence would be issued to Lynas by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (LPTA).

The factory, costing RM700mil, which was being built in the Gebeng industrial area, Kuantan had created a controversy because it was alleged to release radiation that could endanger public health.

Several series of briefings organised by the LPTA and the state government in Kuantan recently had not given positive results. – Bernama

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