Residents hope project will be scrapped

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

-The Star-

KUANTAN: Residents here are hoping the Gebeng rare earth plant will be scrapped after the Government announced a review of the plant’s health, safety and environmental aspects.

Save Malaysia and Stop Lynas movement spokesman Vincent Jiam Tee Hoong said the public wanted to know whether the plant’s construction would be halted.

“We want the project to stop now for the sake of the present generation as well as that of our children’s.

No to project: Malaysian activists during a protest in Putrajaya Friday held in conjunction with Earth Day against a RM700mil rare earth plant currently being built by Australian miner Lynas Corp Ltd in Pahang. The banner reads: “Earth Day, A Protest to Save the Earth.” — AP

“We also want the findings to be published in full with data to include scientific references to ensure transparency. The findings must be verified by qualified professionals,” he said yesterday.

Kuantan MCA chief Datuk Ti Lian Ker said the findings of the independent panel would end speculation about the plant’s health and safety aspects.

He accused the Opposition of spreading rumours about the plant and claimed that it had successfully created doubts among the people.

“The independent panel’s decision will be based on facts and law. I hope all parties will accept the findings of the panel in good faith,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Pahang Bar Committee joined in the chorus of opposition against the plant by offering its legal support to protesters.

An extraordinary general meeting on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution to set up a special committee to conduct a detailed study on the regulatory and legal requirements under the Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984 and Radiation Protection (Licensing) Regulations 1986.

At a press conference yesterday, its chairman Hon Kai Ping said they would provide legal representation in the event of any litigation in an appropriate case that may ensue or proposed against Lynas and any other party.

Malaysian Bar president Lim Chee Wee threw his weight behind the Pahang Bar resolution, urging the Government to value the environment as much as investment.

He added that the panel should not rush to complete its responsibility.

“It is crucial that the panel engages the residents of Pahang to hear their concerns and obtain their views,” Lim said.

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