Anti-Lynas lobby Himpunan Hijau 2.0 today demanded the prime minister state where Lynas Corp’s rare earth waste disposal site will be relocated to, claiming that it was “impossible” for a “safe” location anywhere in the country.
The Australian miner’s RM2.3 billion rare earth refinery in Gebeng has caused a controversy over its lack of plans for waste disposal but Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday the waste disposal has to be away from the area and local communities.
“It is impossible. What we want to know from Datuk Seri Najib Razak is where are you going to locate the waste disposal site which will be far away from people?
“Malaysia is a small country, unlike Australia. So where is it going to be? It’s not like we have a desert here to dump the waste,” Himpunan Hijau chairman Wong Tack told The Malaysian Insider.
Three days ago, Najib said the Lynas refinery was scientifically and factually safe.
But he said the directive was made after taking into consideration the psychological and emotional effects on the community.
“We are not just talking about the human population here. Don’t just think about lifeforms, think about the ecosystem, and what this site can do to disrupt a natural ecosystem, a normal environmental landscape will be affected.
“Our ecosystem, forests are a treasure... as a leader, we feel he (PM) has little knowledge in the matter, making hasty decisions like that,” said Wong.
Thousands of anti-Lynas protestors attended an opposition-backed mass rally organised by Himpunan Hijau last weekend in the single largest protest yet against the rare earth refinery that is expected to fire up operations later this year.
Critics of the Lynas refinery want the government to halt its construction and direct the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) to reverse a decision to grant Lynas a temporary operating licence (TOL), which will let it embark on a two-year trial run.
They allege that the Australian miner has not given enough assurances on how it will handle the low-level radioactive waste that will be produced at the refinery.
They further assert that plans for an off-site storage location for the refinery’s waste material “is totally senseless” and reflected “a shallow understanding of the ecological system and blatant disrespect of the natural environment.”
“Why move it to another location if the waste is safe? If it’s safe, Australia should even take it back,” said Wong.
He urged the government to hire independent scientists to study and verify “once and for all” whether it was safe to build the Lynas refinery.
The government has been under pressure from groups to shut down the rare earth project over safety fears. But Putrajaya has stood its ground on the project that was first earmarked for Terengganu.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai told the Sin Chew Daily yesterday that Lynas will have to send the waste back to Australia even though the Western Australian government has said it will not take back the residue from the ore mined from Mount Weld in the state.
Putrajaya has been adamant about the plant that will employ up to 400 workers. Lynas will also get a 12-year tax holiday for the facility.
Lynas must go on no matter what! Get 4 Ministries to look for another location for the radioactive waste, no matter what! After all 0.05% of RM8billions is a lot of money. Moreover, someone has accepted some downpayment when giving an undertaking to approve the plant years ago.
We do not care even if Lynas has already spent $100 billion.
We just want Lynas OUT of Malaysia!
No safe place in Malaysia. Just ship the waste back to Australia and do not flip flop with the decision. Looking at the present situation the government intention is to retain the waste in the country and the Rakyat will oppose to it.
I guess the govt want Malaysians to experience man-made natural disaster.
The radioactive waste will be steadily emitting harmful radiation at the secluded site after our generations of Malaysian has long gone.in Eventhough the resourceful government buried them deep inside our fertile mountains. One day after a hundred years from today, a huge tropical storms causes an enormous land slide at one of the mountains in Pahang, hundreds of leaking steel and concrete containers were exposed and the people of that time does not know of the content as there were no record of it. Firefighters and civil workers start falling ill after helping with the clean up operation. Later it was discovered in the achive, that the secret waste storage site was indeed that of Lynas's and the radioactive waste were still as potent as when it was produced as the life span of the waste is at least a couple of 100 millions years. The company that produced the waste was closed down about 70 years back due to discovery of an alternative materials to substitute rare earth that are safer and cheaper to obtain. Malaysians have no alternative but to declare the land unsafe from 50 km radius from the center of the waste site for their people for another at least 100 million years.
Do you think Singapore still want to buy fruits & vegetable from us as the monsoon rain will bring those radioactive particles to the main range? Do you still want to buy palm oil from Malaysia where there is a possibility of contamination from our largest plantation Felda?. Our so call experts can say anything, but how to clean up the mess if their expert views are wrong?
The Japanese are also sure Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant is safe to built near the coast . Their experts also miscalculate the law of nature. Why take risk which cannot be undone?