Group mulls court injunction to stop rare earth plant

Posted on June 11, 2011. Filed under: Pollution |

-Malaysiakini.com-

The anti-Lynas group is considering seeking a court injunction to stop the controversial RM700 million project in Pahang.

Clement Chin lynas save malaysia groupSave Malaysia public relations chief Clement Chin said his group is working with the Pahang Bar to look into the possibility of mounting an injunction to stop the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (Lamp).

“We are looking at all angles, (and we) will make our decision within this month,” he said at a press conference held by the People’s Green Coalition NGO today.

Lamp is located at Gebeng industrial zone, about 25km north of Kuantan, the capital of Pahang.

The plant, which residents fear will produce highly toxic radioactive waste, will begin its trial run in September.

Pahang gov’t ‘turning it into racial issue’

Chin slammed the Pahang government that was trying to create a diversion on this matter by turning the stop Lynas campaign into a racial issue.

bukit komon gold mine 020306 adnan pc“The (Pahang) MB (Adnan Yaakob) (right) openly said that this is a racial issue few months ago,” he said.

Chin said that the government is trying to play it up politically, by creating fear amongst the public in Kuantan.

“For example during the IAEA (review panel public consultation) forum, they sent in their supporters to create havoc.

“After this there were incidents where the cares of some of our members who displayed the ‘Stop Lynas’ stickers had their windows broken and bodywork scratched,” he said.

Chin also said that there is a propaganda war in Kuantan, where both the anti and pro-Lynas groups are trying to reach the ground to express their stand on the project.

“In Kemaman, the pro-Lynas group is going to the ground, telling the people that this plant is safe,” he said.

Chin said that the committee is trying to reach out the Malay villagers by distributing leaflets written in Malay.

“Now, on our part, we are trying to disseminate the information, (to tell the people) the facts (that) this plant is hazardous, that radiation pollution is very dangerous,” he added.

He stressed, however, that the residents of Balok had already voiced out their fears and disapproval against this project.

‘Stop the project if folk are strongly opposed’

Meanwhile, toxicologist T Jayabalan, who also joined the press conference, said that the IAEA review panel had commented that the Malaysian government should close down the plant if the people are strongly opposed to Lamp.

During the meeting of the People’s Green Coalition with the panel, Jayabalan said that the panel has accepted that there is no safe threshold to ionising radiation and even exposure to background radiation can cause cancer.

“The IAEA has also accepted that one in five workers would get cancer if exposed to the legally allowable occupational doses over 50 years.

“These risks are much higher than that permitted for other carcinogens.

“They have a conscience and they know that there is a danger from this sort of facilities,” he added.

He stressed that the coalition is against the setting-up of the rare earth plant based on the above reasons.

The coalition has also uploaded three videos of their meeting with the panel on YouTube.

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