Free Malaysia Today – Anti-Lynas group throws debate dare

Tarani Palani | August 29, 2011

The People’s Green Coalition wants a prime time debate with TV3 environmental journalist Karam Singh Walia and two other experts.

PETALING JAYA: A member of the People’s Green Coalition which is against the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (LAMP) has challenged TV3 environmental journalist Karam Singh Walia and two other experts to a prime-time debate over the radiation hazards of the RM700 million rare-earth plant in Gebeng, Pahang

“I challenge them to an open debate on TV3 to find out the truth. Latest international finding shows that there is no safe radiation level,” said Ahmad Bungsu Hamidtua, a nuclear physicist.

“I want to ask them if they still think the project is safe after 20 years when the accumulation of waste is about five million tonnes of highly concentrated nuclear waste consisting of thorium, uranium and residue of heavy metals.

“Will it still be safe without any complete permanent disposal plan which Lynas still does not have at the moment,” he said.

Ahmad Bungsu was responding to Karam’s segment on LAMP during the channel’s prime time news Buletin Utama.

The journalist argued that the plant was safe and accused PKR’s Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh, a staunch opponent of the plant, of twisting facts.

In a second part of the series last Wednesday, Prof Dr Ahmad Termizi Ramli, a radiological safety and health specialist, and PAS Hulu Langat MP Dr Che Rosli Che Mat, who is a nuclear scientist, were featured on the show.

The two experts claimed that the radiation level associated with the project was of natural level and not dangerous.

Che Rosli also said that Fuziah’s allegations were not “scientific or academic”.

“There is no safe level”

Another member from the People’s Green Coalition also backed Ahmad Bungsu’s call for a debate.

Tan Kah Kheng, a chemical engineer who was one of the activists involved in the disastrous Bukit Merah rare-earth plant in the 1980s, said: “You can bet I will be there”.

“If there were no radiation fears then why go through the hassle of inviting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit and come up with a report?” he asked.

The Malaysian government had asked IAEA for assistance in addressing public concerns about the project by forming a panel to review radiation heath and safety factors.

Tan said the IAEA had concurred with the suggestions put forth by the coalition and cited the example of proper storage of waste.

He said this further highlighted that there is a cause for concern over hazardous low level radiation of the waste products.

He added that the permissible and accepted level of radiation was constantly scaled down “since the time when X-rays were first discovered”.

“We must consider that this acceptable level of radiation has a history of changing standards all the time,” he said.

Dr T Jayabalan, a public health consultant who treated cancer patients from the Bukit Merah rare-earth plant in the 1980s, said the attack on Fuziah during the segments were “political in nature”.

“The attacks are neither academic nor scientific,” he said.

In a statement issued later, Jayabalan reiterated that no level of radiation was safe.

“The US Academy of Sciences BEIR VII Report states that no dose of radiation is safe however small, including background radiation. Exposure is cumulative and adds to an individuals risk of developing cancer,” said the doctor who is also a member of the coalition.

He added that there needs to be a distinction made between the terms used in discussing the rare-earth project.

The radioactive materials must not be referred to as “natural material” but in fact should be referred to as “technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials” (TENORM)

“By alluding to the radioactive materials as ‘naturally occurring’, it does not make the radioactivity go away,” he said.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/08/29/anti-lynas-group-throws-debate-dare/

The Malaysian Insider – PAS man denies supporting Lynas plant

By G. Manimaran
Bahasa Editor
August 29, 2011
 

Che Rosli said he does not support Lynas.
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 – PAS lawmaker Che Rosli Che Mat has insisted that his comments on primetime television were not in support of a controversial RM700 million rare earth plant that is being opposed by his Pakatan Rakyat (PR) colleagues.

The Hulu Langat MP also told The Malaysian Insider yesterday that he appeared in a TV3 segment that staunchly defended the refinery being built by Australian miner Lynas Corp in his personal capacity as a nuclear scientist and not as a representative of the Islamist party.

“I told the TV3 journalist that I need the permission of my party president but because Karam Singh Walia called me two or three times, I said I would only appear as a scientist,” the former lecturer said.

PAS said yesterday that it will demand an explanation from Che Rosli after Hari Raya this week as to why he broke ranks with the party’s stand although it clarified that it was not a disciplinary issue.

Although Che Rosli also said that he will accept the party’s decision on the matter, he insisted that “I did not act against the party and I do not support Lynas.”

The Malaysian Insider understands that the MP will be hauled up to the party headquarters in the second week of September over comments he made regarding the plant that has raised fears of radiation pollution among Kuantan residents.

 

File photo showing the site of the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant in Gebeng, near Kuantan.

In the news segment, Che Rosli had said: “The ones that have raised this issue is PKR… but it is unfair. Is Lynas a nuclear plant? They spin. I was ashamed. I am a PAS member too. So I made the decision as a nuclear scientist to come today. They can say whatever they want.

“These allegations are unscientific and not academic at all. The public does not need to be afraid. They can go themselves and see in the Lynas plant, what will be built and the facilities it will have to protect the safety of its workers and also the general public.”

Following Che Rosli’s appearance on television, Pahang PAS information chief Suhaimi Md Saad told The Malaysian Insider last week that Che Rosli’s actions were unacceptable as the nuclear scientist could have used party channels or even voiced his support for the plant in party organ Harakah.

“We know he supported the plant when we first discussed the issue in 2009. But after consulting other experts, PAS’s stand was to oppose the project. But now he has gone into the enemy’s camp to attack his own party,” Suhaimi had said.

A review of the project led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) put forward 11 recommendations for Lynas to meet before beginning operations which have been adopted by Putrajaya.

But Lynas has denied reports that the new conditions set by the government will delay the plant by up to two years, insisting that it remains on track to begin operations and complete phase one of the plant by the end of 2011.

The Australian mining giant has said that its plant – which will extract rare earth metals crucial for high-technology products like smartphones, hybrid cars and wind turbines – will create a RM4 billion multiplier effect annually and 350 jobs for skilled workers.

Although reports say the plant may earn RM8 billion for Lynas, critics have questioned the real economic benefit of the project, pointing to the 12-year tax break Lynas will enjoy due to its pioneer status.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/pas-man-denies-supporting-lynas-plant/

Free Malaysia Today – Kilang nadir bumi: PKR sokong usaha Fuziah

FMT Staff | August 27, 2011

“Fuziah mempertahankan hak penduduk Gebeng dan harus dipuji kerana usahanya sebagai seorang ahli parlimen yang bertanggungjawab,” kata Nurul Izzah Anwar.

PETALING JAYA: Ahli Parlimen Lembah Pantai dan Naib Presiden PKR Nurul Izzah Anwar tampil memberi sokongan dan mempertahankan perjuangan rakan sejawatnya, Fuziah Salleh dalam isu pembinaan kilang memproses nadir bumi (rare earth) di Gebeng, dekat Kuantan.

Nurul mengecam tindakan tidak bermoral Barisan Nasional (BN) memperalatkan TV3 milik Umno untuk memperlekeh usaha , Fuziah yang juga Ahli Parlimen Kuantan dan Naib Presiden PKR itu dan Gerakan Anti-Lynas menentang projek Lynas Advanced Material Plant (LAMP) sebagai satu usaha yang terdesak.

“BN menjalankan dakyahnya dengan berselindung disebalik dua pakar nuklear yang memusingkan fakta dan menyelewengkan matlamat dan tujuan gerakan anti-Lynas untuk memenuhi kepentingan politik mereka,” ujar Nurul dalam satu kenyataan medianya.

Menurut beliau, Ahli Jawatankuasa PAS Pusat dan juga Pengerusi Biro Alam Sekitar Zulkefly Mohd Omar juga telah mengeluarkan kenyataan menyokong gerakan anti-Lynas yang mendapat sokongan daripada gabungan Pakatan Rakyat.

“Tambahan pula, Persatuan Perubatan Malaysia (MMA), Majlis Peguam, Sahabat Alam Malaysia, Aliran dan Persatuan Pengguna Pulau

Pinang turut menyuarakan kebimbangan berhubung projek ini,” terang beliau.

Nurul menegaskan, ‘gerakan anti-Lynas tidak pernah menjuruskan perhatiannya hanya kepada radioaktif semata-mata.

“Sebaliknya, gerakan ini menentang LAMP berdasarkan pembinaan kilang memproses nadir bumi di negeri Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri

Najib Tun Razak itu kerana kilang ini akan menjejaskan kesihatan para penduduk Gebeng dan merosakkan alam sekitar.

“Ini akan menjejaskan industri perikanan dan pelancongan, sekaligus memberi kesan buruk kepada ekonomi negara secara keseluruhannya,” tegas beliau.

Menurutnya, LAMP akan mucul sebagai kilang memproses nadir bumi terbesar di dunia selepas China apabila beroperasi kelak.

Kesihatan penduduk terjejas

“Oleh itu, kami berpendirian bahawa keselamatan dan kesihatan para penduduk di Gebeng dan kawasan sekitar terlalu bernilai untuk dikorbankan bagi mendapatkan keuntungan ekonomi yang sedikit.

“Dalam hal ini, Fuziah mempertahankan hak penduduk Gebeng dan harus dipuji kerana usahanya sebagai seorang ahli parlimen yang bertanggungjawab,” kata Nurul.

Buletin Utama TV3 kelmarin menyiarkan wawancara dengan dua pakar saintis nuklear, Ahli Parlimen-PAS Hulu Langat Dr Che Rosli Che

Mat serta Pakar Keselamatan Radiologi dan Kesihatan Prof Dr Ahmad Termizi Ramli yang mengkritik Fuziah sengaja memutarbelit fakta Lynas dan memainkan emosi penduduk Kuantan.

Menjawab mengenai tuduhan itu, Fuziah berkata wawancara tersebut sengaja dirancang BN untuk memelihara kepentingan mereka dan Lynas dan bukannya rakyat.

Fuziah melalui peguamnya N Surendran menghantar notis penjelasan kepada Ketua MCA Kuantan Ti Lian Ker berhubung kenyataannya kepada Buletin Utama TV3 pada 30 Jun lalu berbunyi ?YB Fuziah mengatakan pegawai-pegawai kita, pakar-pakar Melayu, pakar-pakar rakyat Malaysia semua tidak boleh dipercayai.”

Melalui Tetuan Edwin Lim Suren & Soh, Surendran berkata anak guamnya itu tidak pernah mengeluarkan kenyataan seperti apa yang disebut Ti, sekaligus menganggap ia sebagai tuduhan serius yang membawanya kepada isu skandal, kebencian dan penghinaan.

Sehubungan itu, Surendran mahu Ti menarik balik kenyataannya dan memohon maaf secara bertulis dan jaminan tidak akan lagi membuat fitnah terhadap anak guamnya, serta membayar jumlah kerugian kerana mencalarkan reputasi dan memberi tekanan kepada Fuziah.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/08/27/kilang-nadir-bumi-pkr-sokong-usaha-fuziah/

Sin Chew Daily 27 August 2011 – Press Conference of PKR Vice President and Kuantan MP YB Fuziah Salleh together with PAS, DAP, BADAR and SMSL on 26 August 2011

Sin Chew Daily National Edition 27 August 2011 - Joint press conference of PKR Vice President and Kuantan MP YB Fuziah Salleh together with PAS, DAP, BADAR and SMSL on 26 August 2011. Legal representative of YB Fuziah has issued letters of demand to TV3, TV3's journalist Karam Singh Walia and MCA Kuantan Division Cheif Datuk Ti Lian Ker - requesting them to apologize to YB Fuziah for their untruthful reports and false accusations pertaining to the Lynas issues

Photo – joint press conference of PKR Kuantan MP YB Fuziah Salleh with PAS and DAP, supported by BADAR and SMSL on 26 August 2011

Press conference on 26 August 2011 - PKR Vice President and Kuantan MP YB Fuziah Salleh issuing letter of demand to TV3, TV3's journalist Karam Singh Walia & MCA Kuantan Division Cheif Ti Lian Ker - PAS, DAP, BADAR and SMSL are together with YB Fuziah during the press conference

Malaysiakini – MP tuntut TV3, Karam Singh Walia mohon maaf

Ogos 26, 11 4:32pm

 

Ahli Parlimen Kuantan Fuziah Saleh menuntut permohonan maaf dari TV3, wartawannya dan seorang ahli politik yang didakwa memburukkannya dalam siaran berita berhubung pusat pemprosesan nadir bumi Lynas Advanced Material Plant (Lamp) di Gebeng, Kuantan.

Peguam Fuziah menghantar tiga notis tuntutan itu semalam dengan menamakan wartawan alam sekitar Karam Singh Walia dan TV3 sebagai responden pertama dan kedua, sementara dua lagi surat dialamatkan kepada Ketua MCA Kuantan Datuk Ti Lian Ker.

NONEDalam surat yang dialamatkan kepada Karam dan TV3, Fuziah (kiri) mahu penarikan balik dibuat terhadap beberapa siri siaran berita itu yang disiarkan antara 28 Jun dan 30 Jun serta pada 24 Ogos lalu, yang mana beliau mendakwa ia “tidak benar dan kandungannya dilihat untuk memburukkan” Fuziah.

Beliau yang juga naib presiden PKR menuntut Tv3 agar tidak berterusan menyiarkan siaran berita itu pada masa akan datang dan membuat permohonan maaf berdasarkan syarat yang telah disahkan oleh peguamnya.

Dalam kes Ti pula, Fuziah menuntut kepada bekas ADUN itu menyiarkan penarikan balik dan permohonan maaf terhadap kenyataan yang disiarkan syarikat televisyen swasta itu.

Dalam siaran berita itu, Ti didakwa memetik Fuziah sebagai berkata “pegawai-pegawai kita, pakar-pakar Melayu, pakar-pakar rakyat Malaysia semua tak boleh dipercayai”.

Dakwaan Fuziah terhadap Ti dinyatakan dalam dua notis tuntutan yang berasingan, yang merujuk kepada dua insiden yang berasingan masing-masing pada 30 Jun dan 24 Ogos apabila Tv3 menyiarkan siri laporan beritanya berhubung plan yang bernilai RM700 juta itu.

Ketiga-tiga notis tersebut turut meminta jaminan bahawa tidak ada lagi pengulangan dakwaan demikian terhadap Fuziah dan menuntut kerugian dan tanggung kos guaman.

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/174210

The Malaysia Insider – Fuziah takes on TV3; PAS wants action against rogue MP

By Shannon Teoh
August 26, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 – Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders in Pahang are baying for blood after TV3 featured PAS’s Hulu Langat MP Che Rosli Che Mat in a primetime news segment supporting the controversial rare earth plant currently being built near Kuantan.

PKR vice president Fuziah Salleh, who has led calls against the RM700 million refinery being built by Australian miner Lynas Corp, has demanded a retraction and an apology from the Umno-owned broadcaster and also local rival Datuk Ti Lian Ker, who is Kuantan MCA chief, for alleged defamatory remarks made against her.

Pahang PAS has also called for its federal leadership to haul up Che Rosli to explain his sudden outburst that was televised on Wednesday night.

 

The PKR vice-president (pic) has demanded a retraction and an apology from TV3 and Kuantan MCA chief, Datuk Ti Lian Ker. – file pic

 

Kuantan MP Fuziah said the clip “is just a concerted plot by the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration to continue their agenda of protecting Lynas for their own benefit and not for the rakyat.” PAS state information chief Suhaimi Md Saad told The Malaysian Insider that Che Rosli’s actions were unacceptable as the nuclear scientist could have used party channels or even voiced his support for the plant in party organ, Harakah.

“We know he supported the plant when we first discussed the issue in 2009. But after consulting other experts, PAS’s stand was to oppose the project. But now he has gone into the enemy?s camp to attack his own party,” he said.

TV3 ran a news piece by environmental journalist Karam Singh Walia quoting radiology safety and health expert Dr Ahmad Termizi Ramli and Che Rosli claiming that Fuziah had been misleading the public by comparing the project with nuclear facilities.

Che Rosli went on to accused PKR of spinning the issue for their own benefit, and that he was “ashamed” that they would resort to arguments that have no scientific or academic basis.

But Fuziah said in a statement today that Che Rosli was only speaking in terms of radiological hazards whereas she and the residents living around the plant in the Gebeng industrial zone have consulted at least half a dozen experts in fields such as public health, chemical engineering, nuclear physics and environmental law.

“What is stopping TV3 and Karam from engaging with all these other experts? Because these other experts do not concur with the stance of the BN government and they refuse to be used as tools towards BN objectives and goals,” she said.

Representatives from local residents’ groups opposed to the plant also told The Malaysian Insider that there was suspicion among their ranks that Che Rosli had been paid off or was being influenced by BN.

“We want PAS to take firm disciplinary action against him to show it truly supports the residents of Beserah,” said Andansura Rabu, who leads Badar, a group of Beserah residents who live as close as two kilometres away from the plant.

The review led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) put forward 11 recommendations for Lynas to meet before beginning operations which have been adopted by Putrajaya.

But Lynas has denied reports that the new conditions set by the government will delay the plant by up to two years, insisting that it remains on track to begin operations and complete phase one of the plant by the end of 2011.

The Australian mining giant has said that its plant – which will extract rare earth metals crucial for high-technology products like smartphones, hybrid cars and wind turbines – will create a RM4 billion multiplier effect annually and 350 jobs for skilled workers.

Although reports say the plant may earn RM8 billion for Lynas, critics have questioned the real economic benefit of the project, pointing to the 12-year tax break Lynas will enjoy due to its pioneer status.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/fuziah-takes-on-tv3-pas-wants-action-against-dissident-mp/

The Malaysian Insider – PKR stands by Fuziah in Lynas-TV3 flap

By Boo Su-Lyn

August 26, 2011
 

Nurul Izzah said PKR’s objection to the LAMP was not based solely on radiation fears. – File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 – PKR stood behind Fuziah Salleh today after a PAS lawmaker attacked the party?s Kuantan MP for protesting against the construction of a controversial rare earth plant near the Pahang capital.Last Wednesday night on TV3, PAS’s Hulu Langat MP and nuclear scientist Che Rosli Che Mat accused PKR of spinning the issue for its own benefit, saying he was “ashamed” that they would resort to arguments with no scientific or academic basis.

“BN (Barisan Nasional)’s ploy of using the Umno-owned TV3 to discredit YB Fuziah Salleh, KeAdilan vice president and Kuantan MP?s relentless campaign together with the Anti-Lynas movement against the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (LAMP) in Gebeng, Kuantan, is utterly desperate and despicable,” said PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar in a statement today.

“BN resorted to [hiding] behind two nuclear experts that misrepresented the aims and objectives of the Anti-Lynas movement in order to further BN’s narrow and divisive political objectives,” added the Lembah Pantai MP.

TV3 ran a news piece by environmental journalist Karam Singh Walia, quoting radiology safety and health expert Dr Ahmad Termizi Ramli?s as well as Che Rosli’s claims that Fuziah had been misleading the public by comparing the RM700 million refinery being built by Australian miner Lynas Corp to nuclear facilities.

Nurul Izzah pointed out, however, that the Anti-Lynas movement – which is backed by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) – did not merely object to the dangers of radioactivity.

“On the contrary, the movement opposed LAMP on the basis that operating a rare earth refinery in Prime Minister (Datuk Seri) Najib Razak’s home state brings with it other hazards such as health and environmental damage that would have dire consequences for the tourism and fishing industry, thus the local economy as a whole. LAMP will be the world’s largest rare earth plant outside China once it operates,” she said.

The PKR lawmaker also stressed that Zulkefly Mohd Omar, a PAS central committee member and the Environment Bureau chairman, has released a statement supporting the Anti-Lynas movement.

Fuziah has demanded a retraction and an apology from TV3 and also local rival Datuk Ti Lian Ker, who is Kuantan MCA chief, for alleged defamatory remarks made against her.

Pahang PAS has also called for its federal leadership to haul up Che Rosli to explain his sudden outburst on the Umno-owned broadcaster.

Fuziah said in a statement earlier today that Che Rosli was only speaking in terms of radiological hazards, whereas she and the residents living around the plant in the Gebeng industrial zone have consulted at least six experts in fields such as public health, chemical engineering, nuclear physics and environmental law.

The review led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) put forward 11 recommendations for Lynas to meet before beginning operations which have been adopted by Putrajaya.

But Lynas has denied reports that the new conditions set by the government will delay the plant by up to two years, insisting that it remains on track to begin operations and complete phase one of the plant by the end of 2011.

The Australian mining giant has said that its plant – which would extract rare earth metals crucial for high-technology products like smartphones, hybrid cars and wind turbines – would create a RM4 billion multiplier effect annually and 350 jobs for skilled workers.

Although reports say the plant may earn RM8 billion for Lynas, critics question the real economic benefit of the project, pointing to the 12-year tax break the Australian miner will enjoy due to its pioneer status.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/pkr-stands-by-fuziah-in-lynas-tv3-flap/

The Malaysian Insider – Fuziah bidas TV3, PAS mahu tindakan terhadap Che Rosli

Oleh Shannon Teoh
August 26, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, 26 Ogos – Pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat Pahang membidas TV3 ekoran pengakuan Ahli Parlimen Hulu Langat dari PAS Che Rosli Che Mat yang menyokong pembinaan loji pemprosesan nadir bumi Lynas di Gebeng dekat Kuantan.

Naib Presiden PKR Fuziah Salleh (gambar), yang mendesak agar loji bernilai RM700 juta itu dihentikan, mahu TV3 menarik balik dan meminta maaf termasuk Ketua MCA Kuantan, Datuk Ti Lian Ker yang telah mengeluarkan kenyataan fitnah terhadap dirinya.

PAS Pahang juga meminta kepimpinan pusat agar meminggal Che Rosli untuk memberikan penjelasan berhubung perkara itu yang disiarkan pada malam kelmarin.

Menurut Fuziah, rancangan itu adalah “plot pentadbiran Barisan Nasional (BN) untuk meneruskan agenda mempertahankan Lynas demi kepentingan sendiri bukan untuk rakyat.”

Ketua Penerangan PAS Pahang Suhaimi Md Saad memberitahu The Malaysian Insider tindakan Che Rosli itu tidak boleh diterima kerana beliau sepatutnya menyatakan sokongan melalui akhbar rasmi parti, Harakah.

“Kita tahu beliau menyokong loji itu semasa kali pertama kita bincangkan isu ini pada 2009. Tetapi selepas berunding dengan pakar lain, pendirian PAS adalah membantah projek itu. Tetapi sekarang beliau telah masuk ke musuh untuk serang parti sendiri,” katanya.

TV3 menyiarkan satu laporan khas oleh wartawan alam sekitar Karam Singh Walia mengatakan Pakar Keselamatan Radiologi dan Kesihatan Dr Ahmad Termizi Ramli dan Che Rosli mendakwa Fuziah memperdayakan orang awam dengan membandingkan Lamp dengan kemudahan nuklear.

Che Rosli bertindak menuduh PKR memutarbelitkan isu itu untuk kepentingan sendiri dan beliau “malu” dengan hujah-hujah yang dibuat tanpa asas saintifik atau akademik.

Tetapi Fuziah dalam kenyataan hari ini berkata, Che Rosli hanya bercakap tentang soal bahaya radiologi sedangkan beliau dan penduduk di sekitar loji itu telah berunding dengan ramai pakar dalam beberapa bidang termasuk kesihatan awam, kejuruteraan kimia, fizik nuklear dan undang-undang alam sekitar.

“Apa yang menghalang TV3 dan Karam daripada mendapatkan maklumat daripada pakar lain? Sebab pakar lain tidak bersetuju dengan pendirian kerajaan BN dan mereka enggan dijadikan alat untuk memastikan matlamat BN tercapai,” katanya.

Wakil daripada penduduk juga membantah pembinaan loji itu dan memberitahu The Malaysian Insider terdapat syak wasangka apabila melihat Che Rosli menyokong BN.

“Kami mahu PAS mengambil tindakan disiplin ke atas beliau sekiranya benar-benar menyokong penduduk Beserah,” kata Andura Rabu, yang mengetuai Badar, kumpulan penduduk Beserah yang menetap hanya dua kilometer dari loji itu.

Lembaga Pelesenan Tenaga Atom (AELB) telah meletakkan 11 syarat yang perlu dipatuhi Laynas sebelum ia memulakan operasi.

Tetapi Lynas telah mengatakan syarat yang diletakkan kerajaan akan melambatkan operasi loji itu selama dua tahun, mendesak ia dibenarkan meneruskan operasi dengan fasa pertama akan selesai sebelum penghujung tahun ini.

Syarikat perlombongan Australia berkata lojinya itu – yang akan digunakan untuk mencipta alat berteknologi tinggi termasuk telefon pinta dan kenderaan hidbrid – akan memperoleh sebanyak RM4 bilion selain menyediakan 350 peluang pekerjaan.

Walaupun laporan mengatakan loji itu akan memperoleh pendapatan sebanyak RM8 bilion untuk Lynas, pengkritik telah mempersoalkan faedah ekonomi projek itu.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/bahasa/article/fuziah-bidas-tv3-pas-mahu-tindakan-terhadap-che-rosli/

The Malaysian Insider – Lynas: An injustice most taxing ? Soo Jin Hou and Lee Wee Tak

August 26, 2011

AUG 26 – Malaysians are no strangers to skewed agreements. From independent power producer subsidies to guaranteed profits for highway concessionaires, the public has on numerous times endured the consequences of sheer governmental incompetence.

Yet, the 12-year tax exemption given to Lynas Corp may prove to be the biggest blunder ever. Lynas is projected to make about A$6.2 billion in pre-tax profit in 2012 and 2013 and in exchange, we allow them to contaminate our land for free.

The graph below shows the spectacular rise in rare earth price since Q3 2010. While gold’s bull run has been getting plenty of attention of late, the real star is rare earth, which has taken off to astronomical heights. For Lynas, the price of the rare earths from Mount Weld may increase 15.7 times from JP Morgan’s estimate by the time the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) begins production in 2012.

JP Morgan published their stock analysis on June 24, 2010, just prior to the price break out. They have predicted a ridiculously conservative average price of US$17.69/kg in 2012. At that price, they have expected Lynas to be breaking even in making A$4.8 million in net tax profit in 2012. The price has since shot up to US$201.35/kg on August 22, 2011. Based on linear regression calculated from 3Q10 to August 22, 2011, and extrapolated to January 2, 2012, the price may even surge up to US$278.14.

The following table shows our revised estimates based on JP Morgan’s research. We predict Lynas will make A$2.2 billion in 2012 and A$4.1 billion in 2013 before tax based on the above linear regression estimation (if the August 22 price of US$201.35/kg is used, 2012 and 2013 profits would be AUD1.5 billion and A$2.9 billion respectively).

No matter what the price would be, Lynas will be able to repay their entire setup cost of A$807 million and still be able to make super normal windfall profit within the first year. The profit is expected to double up in 2013 when production from Phase 2 commences.

Certain important assumptions are made in this deduction, and they are: a) The revenue is directly proportional to the increase in rare earth price, b) Rare earth prices are able to sustain at an average of US$278.14.13/kg. This is justified by assuming that the downside risk of new supply sources is balanced by the upside risk of China’s continual pull back in production, c) Production of Phase 2, which will double LAMP’s capacity to commence production by 2013. Construction of Phase 2 is scheduled for completion by Q4 2012, d) In 2012 and 2013, the A$/US$ rates are 0.95 (rate at 25/8/2011) and 0.9 respectively, e) Exchange rate has impact on revenue (since rare earths are priced in US$) and operating cost (25 per cent of total operating cost to run the Mount Weld concentration plant is denominated in AUD).

JP Morgan has estimated that the internal transfer price of the semi-refined ores from the Mount Weld concentration plant to its Malaysian subsidiary to be approximately 30 per cent of the finished product price. Consequently, from the A$6.2 billion pre-tax profit for 2012-2013, only A$1.9 billion will be subjected to Australian tax.

The next table shows the estimated tax Lynas is liable for. Taking into account the new Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT), which is effectively levied at 22.5 per cent, Lynas is estimated to pay A$683 million in Australian taxes in 2012 and 2013. However, this amount is small compared to the A$2.3 billion in Australian taxes Lynas will have to pay if they have not relocated their plant overseas.

At the prevailing 25 per cent corporate tax rate, Malaysia will be forgoing A$1.1 billion or RM 3.4 billion (rates at August 25, 2011) in tax revenue. There will be some trickledown effects on Lynas’s local spending, income tax from Malaysian employees (up to 27 per cent) and corporate tax on Lynas’s suppliers, but these benefits will be negated by the loss in real estate value and the inevitable depression in tourism.

Let’s ponder a moment the underlying principles for granting businesses tax holidays. Malaysia has numerous tax exemption ruling such as Pioneer Status, Investment Tax Allowance, Agriculture Allowance and Reinvestment Allowance.

These tax legislations are meant for Promoted Industries or Promoted Areas to facilitate economic growth and job opportunities in designated sectors or geographical areas (namely Sabah, Sarawak and Eastern Corridor of Malaysia).

Examples of Promoted Industries would be manufacturing and tourism, hence the rapid growth of industrial areas and hotels across Malaysia. By granting Lynas a tax holiday vis-a-vis other “encouraged” endeavour, is the government keen to promote Grim Reaper factories here?

We are already opposed to the establishment of Lynas’s facility here. And to let them reap the huge windfall arising from rare earths price trend movement while incurring huge and potentially disastrous social cost without making them compensate Malaysians adequately (if at all), shows just too clearly the inability of the present government to administer burden of tax in an equitable manner.

The Australian public would also be denied their rightful share of Lynas?s obligation to pay MRRT, should the plant be based in Australia instead hence the present Malaysian government is really presenting an unwitting loop hole to Lynas and doing huge disservices to the population of both nations.

This tax exemption is proving to be the worst agreement the Malaysian government has ever made. At least for other lop-sided agreements, no matter how skewed the terms are, at least there are still some benefits, such as having power and access to highways. But for Lynas, there is absolutely no benefit at all except imminent harm.

The final insult is that the Radiological Impact Assessment (RIA) has indicated that the plant is designed to store only 10 years of waste. This means that Lynas may have already packed up and gone when their 12 years is up, leaving behind radioactive waste for the locals to deal with.

In conclusion, Malaysia is basically rolling out the red carpet to Lynas to turn our land into a permanent waste depository. It is absolutely illogical. Therefore, we appeal to the government’s common sense to stop Lynas from operating.

Note: The assumed operating capacity was not indicated in JP Morgan’s report. They may have conservatively assumed that LAMP will only be running at 79 per cent of the maximum capacity of 11,000 tonnes (deduced using the forecasted revenue of A$138 million divide by rare earth price of US$17.69/kg). If this assumption was made, Lynas stands to make A$2.8 billion in 2012 and A$5.2 billion in 2013 in pre-tax profit at full capacity. However, it might also be possible that the shortfall in revenue is the result of long term supply contracts at below market rare earth price.

* Soo Jin Hou and Lee Wee Tak are part of the Kuantan Environmental Watch Group.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/lynas-an-injustice-most-taxing-soo-jin-hou-and-lee-wee-tak/