Malaysian court approves Lynas rare earths plant

ABC Radio Australia
Updated 8 November 2012, 21:22 AEST
Kate Arnott

A court in Malaysia has given Australian company Lynas the go ahead for its rare earths plant in Malaysia.

Lynas employees have faced off against activists calling for a further injunction.

Lynas employees have faced off against activists calling for a further injunction. (Credit: ABC) 

Audio: Anti-Lynas campaigner and Opposition MP, Fuziah Salleh discusses the court’s decision with Asia Pacific’s Sen Lam

Malaysian Opposition MP and anti-Lynas campaigner, Fuziah Salleh, speaks to Asia Pacific about the latest court decision. (Credit: ABC) 


A court in Malaysia has paved the way for an Australian company to fire up its controversial rare earths plant in eastern Malaysia.

Lynas obtained permission for the facility in September, but activists took the case to court complaining that the environmental risks of the project were too great.

They wanted the court to grant a further injunction against Lynas’s operating licence.

On Thursday morning, the court ruled that the environmental concerns were premature.

The decision was met with disappointment by the activists, who faced off with workers from the plant outside the high court in Kuantan.

A Lynas spokesman says there is now no injunction or stay stopping Lynas from operating the plant.

Malaysian opponents to the plant say the processing of rare earth ore imported from Australia, would release radioactive gases and solid waste like thorium, radium, lead and small amounts of uranium into the environment.
The federal opposition MP for Kuantan, Fuziah Salleh, who has led protests against Lynas for over two years, says the fight is far from over.

“I am disappointed because the public has decided that they would accept the plant to operate in our backyard,” she told Asia Pacific.

“We will certainly bring this case of the Appeal Court, immediately file papers for the appeal court.

“And there is also another court case which is being referred to the Federal Court with regards to another judicial review regarding the detailed EIA (environmental impact assessment), which was not conducted on the plant.”

Ms Salleh says the public will continue to appeal to relevant ministers and authorities.

The hearing of an application for a judicial review into the granting of the licence is expected in a few months.

Lynas shares were placed in a trading halt pending the court decision.

Kuantan MP: EC tinkering with electoral roll

Aidila Razak
2:21PM Nov 7, 2012

PKR claims that the Election Commission has been amending the electoral roll without first displaying the changes in the quarterly supplementary roll, which is open for public objection.

NONEKuantan MP Fuziah Salleh alleged that in Kuantan alone, 155 names were found to have suddenly appeared in the latest gazetted roll, while 433 names were removed.

“A large number disappeared without record while a large portion was moved to another parliamentary constituency without first being displayed (for objections),” she said.

“This is manipulation and could change the results. What if those 433 people are my voters?”

Fuziah won her seat in 2008 with a majority of 1,826 votes.

Speaking at the Parliament lobby, she said 155 names displayed to be struck off the Kuantan roll made it back into the gazetted roll even though no objection had been made to their removal.

This includes the name of 99-year-old Lee Tee, which was displayed for removal in 2011 but was found on the gazetted roll as at this morning, she said.

“We checked and her relatives informed us that she has passed away. Of the 155 in Kuantan, 130 are similar cases (to Lee’s).

“Nationwide, there are 40,786 names that had been displayed for removal, and have been re-inserted even though no objections were made against the names being removed.”

Full addresses missing

She added that the discrepancies in the roll were spotted after checks by party workers but this is difficult to do with the Election Commission now refusing to disclose full addresses of voters.

“The address listed could be number 10 of an apartment complex, but the complex may have blocks A to F, so we then have to go up and down all the blocks to find one voter,” she said.

She said that these problems faced showed that the Election Commission is not serious in cleaning up the roll and that any efforts taken are only “shut critics mouths or merely a media show”.

揭4万可疑选民重纳选民册 傅芝雅质疑选委会蓄意操弄


2012年11月7日 下午4点10分








voter placing vote into ballot box 140208傅芝雅以其关丹选民为例,阐明关丹选民册有155名选民名字突然消失后,又重现在今年首季选民册内,同时又有433个选民名字在未经展览后撤除。












YouTube: In China, Rare Earths are Killing Villages

Published on Jul 31, 2012 by 

Baotou, a city in Inner Mongolia, is the largest processor of rare earth minerals. Although these are valuable minerals, they also cause a great deal of pollution. An article in the French newspaper Le Monde examined the pollution around Baotou, and what that has meant for local residents.
An article in the French newspaper Le Monde reported that from the air, looking down at the city of Baotou in northern China, the city looks like a large lake, fed by numerous tributaries. From the ground, it is actually a murky polluted discharge covering an area of 10 square kilometers. It surrounds numerous industrial plants that produce 17 minerals known as rare earth minerals. The rejected waste waters are loaded with toxic chemicals. There are no fish or algae in the water. Nothing can live there.

According to Le Monde, the rocks of the rare earth mine in Bayan, almost 200 kilometers away, are sent to Baotou for treatment. The concentration of rare earth in the rocks is very low and must be separated and purified by hydrometallurgical processes and acid baths. The effluent basin has all kinds of toxic chemicals and radioactive elements like thorium. Ingestion of these toxins can cause cancer of the pancreas, lungs and blood.

A pungent odor rises within 15 kilometers. Local villagers have been suffering from cancer. Rows of brown houses in the village have been reduced to rubble.

Sichuan environmentalist Chen Yunfei indicates that rare earth refining process causes great environmental pollution and destruction. But the people are not aware of the specific dangers of this project, and the specialists involved in the decision-making.

[Chen Yunfei, environmental protection activist]:
“Some officials only work on the projects for profit. They relocate once the money has been made. Some officials collude with these businesses, caring about nothing but profit, and then leave the mess for the public.”

According to local residents, Baotou used to be a vast grassland. In 1958, a state-run company called Baotou Iron and Steel began to refine rare earth minerals. At the end of the 1980s, locals found that the plant was in trouble.

Last year, China Environment News, a Chinese newspaper reported that a leak in the dam of a tailings lake had damaged five surrounding villages. It had affected more than 3000 farmers, and ruined more than 3,295 Acres of farmland. Ma Peng, former Director of the Baotou Rare Earth Research Institute, indicated that due to the lack of a barrier below the tailings dam, toxic waste water was directly discharging into the Yellow River. The discharge was at a rate of 300 cubic meters per year.

Residents also said that other industries, including power plants have caused more pollution. These industries were built later. The locals breathe air saturated with sulfuric acid and coal dust. Cows, horses, poultry and goats are killed by these poisons.

The residents fled the area. For example the village of Xinguang Sancun has now decreased from 2000 to 300 people, and all the families are affected with illness. After 20 years of complaining to local authorities, the villagers have finally won promises of financial compensation. But they have only been partially kept.

[Mrs. Hao, A resident of the area]
“We all know the diet is unhealthy. Nobody cares about the people, whether they live or die, not to mention the pollution.”

For many years, calls have been made drawing attention to the radioactive thorium spilled into the Yellow River. But the risks and pollution caused by the tailings dam at Baotou have never been considered.

[Chen Yunfei, environmental protection activist]:
“This is an investment that has hurt several generations. It has polluted the whole environment. This high cost investment ought to be condemned. Our future generations are going to suffer for it.”

According to China Environment News, Baotou is located in a fracture zone. In the event of a major earthquake or a large-scale rainfall, a rupture of the tailings dam would threaten the surrounding five villages, as well as tens of thousands of employees at Baotou Iron and Steel. If the tailings flow into the Yellow River, it would cause serious pollution, and harm to people down river.


News & Politics


Standard YouTube License

Video Perbahasan Bajet 2013 MP PKR Kuantan YB Fuziah Salleh

Rakaman video MP PKR Kuantan YB Fuziah Salleh bahas isu pengundi sah punya Mykad palsu, isu Lynas, RAPID Kuantan, isu kesaksamaan gender dan bajet gender pada 10 Oktober 2012 di Dewan Rakyat.

1,000 attend Save Chinese Education rally

Lee Long Hui & Lee Way Loon
1:51PM Sep 26, 2012

Despite the rain, some 1,000 people showed up this morning at a protest rally outside Parliament to voice their disgruntlement with the government’s alleged discriminatory policies in relation to Chinese education.

TheNONE rally, dubbed ’926 Save Chinese Education Protest Action’, was organised by the influential Chinese education coalition Dong Zong and held at Padang Merbok, which is about 1km from the Parliament building.

Wearing raincoats and holding umbrellas, the protesters, mainly elderly Chinese, unfurled banners urging Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to address problems faced by Chinese education, and sang a popular Chinese song Unity is Strength.

The police later allowed 20 representatives, led by Dong Zong president Yap Sin Tian, to enter Parliament to submit a memorandum to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

30-minute meeting

The delegates also distributed copies of the memorandum to other MPs in Parliament.

The memorandum listed eight issues:

NONE1. Shortage of qualified Chinese teachers.

2. Non-Chinese speaking teachers being assigned to Chinese schools.

3. Non-recognition of Unified Education Certificate.

4. Delay in the registration process of Chinese school boards.

5. Problems concerning the status of a new private Chinese school in Kuantan.

6. Refusal of government to approve Segamat private school.

7. Funding problems for Chinese schools.

8. Scarcity of land for new Chinese schools.

After meeting Nazri, a triumphant Yap returned to the protesters to proclaim that their exercise was a success.

“We spoke for half an hour and he reflected on many pressing matters facing Chinese education,” he said.

Shunned by Wee and MCA

He expressed hope that the federal government and the education department would quickly resolve the matter. He also hoped that MPs from both sides of the divide would help article their woes.

Several Pakatan Rakyat MPs and state assemblypersons were spotted at the rally point, while PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim and PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar greeted the Dong Zong delegation at the Parliament lobby.

NONEDeputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong, who has been blamed by Dong Zong of not doing enough for Chinese education, was no where to be seen.

Meanwhile, several spots near the rally point were scrawled with graffiti in opposition to the rally, insinuating that Dong Zong was in cahoots with DAP.

Ten individuals, who identified themselves as representatives from Persatuan Penguna Islam, were spotted briefly near the rally grounds.

They had unfurled the banner which read: “Don’t politicise education, Dong Zong please leave”.

The ten were ignored and they left after a short while.

VIDEO|6 mins

YouTube – Protest outside Lynas Corp. HQ in Sydney on 20 Sept 2012

Published on 21 Sep 2012 by GreenLeftTV
Some of the people who participated in the Stop Lynas action outside the company’s HQ in Sydney on September 20 explain why they are protesting against the company’s rare earth refinery in Kuantan, Malaysia.

Published on 21 Sep 2012 by GreenLeftTV
Peter Boyle, an activist in the Stop Lynas campaign in Australia addressing a protest outside Lynas Corporation HQ in Sydney on September 20, 2012. Filmed by Philippa Velhinho and edited by Peter Boyle. The protesters plan to hold another action when the company holds its shareholders AGM in Sydney on November 20.

Published on 21 Sep 2012 by GreenLeftTV
Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker addressed a protest outside the corporate HQ of Lynas, the Australian company which has is trying to operate a controversial rare earth refinery in Kuantan, Malaysia, against the wishes of local residents. Lynas built this plant in Malaysia to take advantage of the country’s lower environmental standards, he said.


Harvest of Hope by Vincent Jiam
Published on YouTube on 20 Sep 2012 by Vijayan

The Lynas rare earth processing plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, Malaysia has received unprecedented protests and objection from the people of Malaysia. Here lawmakers & parliamentarians sign a declaration that they are committed to stopping the project. This is the story of a kindergarten teacher and his noble efforts.