The Malaysian Insider – Let’s campaign against Lynas – Sam Peh

January 31, 2012

JAN 31 – So, now we are being threatened by the obnoxious Australian. I have a message for Mr Nicholas Curtis of Lynas: Malaysia has attracted foreign direct investment long before he even heard of Gebeng, and will continue to do so long after he and his merry band of “investors” from Lynas are shut out of this blessed country.

For a start, we don’t need foreign investors who enjoy tax breaks and all other goodies, who promise the sky, the moon, technology transfer and create a paltry number of jobs before gloating as if our well-being depends on them.

The only people who support Lynas are the well-paid civil servants at MITI and MiDA. Why? So that they can boast that they have attracted RM25.5 billion amount of FDI into the country between January and November 2011.

No one in their right minds would support an investment or a company that till today cannot give a satisfactory explanation on how rare earth wastes are going to be disposed off. (If Terengganu Umno politician Idris Jusoh is a man of the rakyat, he should come clean on why the state government under his stewardship rejected Lynas.)

Curtis is suddenly an expert on Malaysian politics, saying that only the PKR MP for Kuantan, Fuziah Salleh, is against the project. He even goes on to say that PAS is supportive of the project. This Aussie is probably swallowing all the PR garbage his company has been spewing.

So how about it, Malaysians, let’s show up this Aussie. I would even take it further: Let’s make this the main election issue in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s state.

Curtis says that if Malaysia cancels this project, it would scare away investors. I hope it scares away investors who are bent on unleashing harm on my fellow citizens.

So what if we never attract this type of investments ever again? I would rather lose billions than leave future generations with an environmental and health nightmare. Would Curtis care if all his promises of safety don’t materialise?

Definitely not. He will be in far away Australia. He may not even be around anymore when disaster strikes.

We must never accept the day when foreigners threaten us.

* Sam Peh read The Malaysian Insider.

* 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/lets-campaign-against-lynas-sam-peh/

The Malaysian Insider – Fuziah says Lynas plant will scare off other investors

By Shannon Teoh
January 31, 2012

Fuziah said she was speaking on the subject as a senior leader within PR. – File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 – Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh has hit back at Lynas Corp, insisting that the presence of the Australian miner’s RM2.5 billion rare earth plant would deter investors from Pahang.

Earlier today, Lynas executive chairman Nicholas Curtis warned against any move by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to shut the company’s refinery, which has raised fears of radiation pollution, saying such action would deter foreign investors.

Fuziah, who has led protests by locals and environmentalists against the plant, said yesterday the federal opposition would shut down the plant if it won a general election that must be called by May next year.

“Would any foreign investor want to site their operations right beside a rare earth plant? Would companies like Siemens want to set up near Lynas?

“This is not a strategic investment in terms of risk versus benefit. We don?t need rare earth to be high-tech. Germany doesn’t have rare earth,” she told The Malaysian Insider.

However, Lynas has claimed that it has signed agreements to supply BASF and Siemens with rare earth, crucial in high-tech applications like magnets for wind turbines and hybrid cars.

Fuziah dismissed these “as just claims.”

She also refuted Curtis’ statement that her stand was only one view within the opposition coalition and that PAS was supportive of the project.

“(PAS spiritual leader) Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat has said if you want to close down Lynas, vote for Pakatan. (Opposition Leader) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has also said the same.

“I am not just anybody. I am PKR vice president and a member of the Pakatan leadership council,” she said.

The Australian miner said last week it expects the start of operations to be delayed to the second quarter from the first quarter of this year.

The plant was due to start operations in September last year but Putrajaya bowed to public pressure last April after sustained opposition from local residents and environmentalists and put the project on ice pending the review by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In July 2011, the government agency adopted 11 recommendations set out by the review of the refinery and said it would not allow Lynas to begin operations or import rare earth ore until all conditions, which include a comprehensive, long-term and detailed plan for managing radioactive waste, are met.

However, AELB has said Lynas Corp failed to meet any of the conditions in its first proposals.

Lynas’s local subsidiary has insisted that it can begin operations within six weeks of being given the go-ahead for the plant, which it hopes will provide a windfall of RM8 billion annually from 2013.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/fuziah-says-lynas-plant-will-scare-off-other-investors/

This article is in response to the article about an interview with Australia?s Lynas Corp executive chairman Nicholas Curtis as below link.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/lynas-warns-on-any-move-to-shut-rare-earths-plant/

thebull.com.au – LYNAS CONFIDENT OF MALAYSIA PLANT LICENCE

Mr Curtis’ frustration at speculation surrounding the licence was evident during a teleconference with analysts and media on Tuesday, saying there was no news he could provide on the licence application.

By AAP 31.01.2012 06:54 PM

Lynas Corporation remains confident the rare earths miner will secure a licence for its processing plant in Malaysia despite local opposition.

The Sydney-based company cannot send concentrate from its already-commissioned Mount Weld processing operation in Western Australia to its 91 per cent-complete advanced materials plant unless it gains a Malaysian licence to do so.

Lynas chief executive Nicholas Curtis says he’s confident the miner will be successful in being granted at least a temporary licence allowing the advanced materials plant to start production in the second quarter of 2012.

Malaysia’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board has authority over the plant because radioactive materials are naturally present in rare earths.

The radiation risk has fuelled fears among local communities, environmental groups and Malaysia’s opposition party, which says it will stop the plant if elected to government.

Mr Curtis’ frustration at speculation surrounding the licence was evident during a teleconference with analysts and media on Tuesday, saying there was no news he could provide on the licence application.

“It is in the hands of the government,” he said.

“I will not pre-empt the government’s position.”

When asked whether Lynas had an alternative plan for the plant if the licence was not granted, Mr Curtis said “we are confident of business plan we have at the moment”.

Mr Curtis bristled when asked about media reports citing a Malaysian opposition member of parliament, Fuziah Salleh, as saying any licence granted to Lynas would be revoked if the Anwar Ibrahim-led People’s Alliance coalition got into power.

“I can’t help ill-informed press speculation,” Mr Curtis said.

“She is the only person who has come out and said that the opposition would potentially revoke (the licence).”

Mr Ibrahim has reportedly voiced his opposition to the Lynas plant.

Mr Curtis said Lynas was “far exceeding” the usual levels of community engagement undertaken by most heavy industry companies, holding face-to-face meetings with about 5,000 people.

Lynas last month reported a seven per cent increase in the total capital cost for the now-delayed plant to $640.9 million, attributing the rise to procurement issues and the recent monsoon season.

Shares in Lynas closed up 1.5 cents at $1.325.

http://www.thebull.com.au/articles/a/25771-lynas-confident-of-malaysia-plant-licence.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

PLANET ARK – Malaysian Opposition Says Would Scrap Rare Earths Plant

Planet Ark World Environment News - in partnership with Colonial First State

Date: 31-Jan-12
Country: MALAYSIA
Author: Anuradha Raghu

Malaysia’s political opposition has vowed to scrap a controversial $200 million rare-earths processing plant being built by Australia’s Lynas Corp if it wins national elections expected to be called within months.

The plant, in Malaysia’s east, aims to weaken China’s monopoly on the global supply of the metals, which are used in a range of products from flat screens to iPhones and energy-efficient light bulbs. It is also backed by Japanese investors keen to see the development of alternative supplies.

“The opposition will put a stop to the plant,” Fuziah Salleh, an opposition member of parliament for Kuantan where the plant is being built, told Reuters on Monday.

“We are very clear about our position with regards to sustainable development. And Lynas is definitely not what we categorize as sustainable development.”

The opposition is backing some residents and green groups which have voiced fears over radioactivity from thorium waste from the plant, though Lynas says this will be extracted and kept in a facility that meets world standards for safe storage.

The opposition is seen as unlikely to win a parliamentary majority in the upcoming elections, but its shock gains four years ago mean a victory is not out of the question.

Its strong stance against the plant adds to uncertainty over the project as Lynas and its investors await a decision by Malaysian authorities as early as Monday on its application for a pre-operating license to begin commissioning the plant.

Malaysia’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board confirmed it was discussing the Lynas case, but its director general, Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan, told Reuters it was not clear if a decision would be announced on Monday.

Government officials said the final decision would likely be made by Prime Minister Najib Razak and his cabinet next week.

The Malaysian plant is to process rare earths mined in Australia at Lynas’ Mount Weld project. The operation is key to breaking China’s grip on the supply of rare earths metals, crucial in several green products such as hybrid cars.

Japan is counting on Lynas to supply 8,500 tonnes a year of rare earths by early 2013 to curb its reliance on China, under a deal involving trading house Sojitz Corp and state-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp.

The Japanese came to Lynas’s rescue in 2010 with $325 million in funding after the Australian government balked at approving a Chinese bid for a majority stake in the company.

Lynas has also lined up Germany’s BASF as a customer and has plans to form a joint venture with Siemens AG to make magnets for wind turbines using rare earths products from the Malaysian plant.

Lynas shares rose 1.95 percent to A$1.31 on Monday.

WARY OF VOTERS

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has also spoken out against the plant, saying he would scrap it if his disparate three-party alliance wins the election. Protests by local residents during construction of the plant prompted an investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Lynas received a favorable report from the IAEA but was told to provide a long-term waste management and safety plan.

It says that its plant is not comparable at all to a rare-earths plant that was shut by a unit of Mitsubishi Chemicals in Malaysia in 1992, after residents there blamed the plant for birth defects and a high rate of leukemia cases.

Prime Minister Najib wants more foreign investment but is wary of sparking voter anger after his ruling coalition suffered record losses in 2008 polls.

Opposition politician Fuziah said Lynas’ plan for managing the radioactive waste was “shoddy and full of holes.” She said it had yet to identify a permanent disposal site for the waste that would not be a risk to the environment or public health.

“Lynas claims that they are for green technology because rare earths is used in green technology,” Fuziah told Reuters. “There’s nothing green about a rare earth refinery,” she added.

Reuters

http://planetark.org/wen/64557

Free Malaysia Today – AELB keeps mum on Lynas decision

Stephanie Sta Maria | January 30, 2012

The board has dicussed the matter but has refused to hint at its decision.

UPDATED

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Atomic Energy Licencing Board (AELB) today discussed the issuance of a temporary operating licence for Lynas Corp, but has refrained from confirming whether it has come to a decision.

AELB director-general, Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan, told FMT this evening that the “Lynas item on the agenda has been discussed”.

“If any decision is reached it will be announced via a media statement by the government,” he said when pressed for a definite response to the matter.

In a statement to FMT earlier today, Lynas had refused to speculate on the impending outcome of the AELB board meeting

A compilation of feedback from the public viewing of Lynas’ application permit was also submitted to the board today with the number of comments totalling 1,123.

According to Abdul Aziz, about 330 people had visited the AELB viewing centres in Selangor and Pahang.

“Every single comment has already been reviewed and taken under consideration,” he said.

“We have been consolidating and reviewing the comments from the very first day so there was no rushing through it.”

This assurance was in response to Kuantan MP, Fuziah Salleh, who expressed concerns that AELB would attempt to review three weeks? worth of feedback in a mere four days.

Lynas had displayed its 300-page document for public viewing beginning Jan 3 and had collected public feedback on Jan 26.

Anti-Lynas groups and independent experts had slammed the document as being “shoddy and full of holes”, and warned that the lives of the residents in Gebeng would be at great risk if the controversial RM2.5-million facility was allowed to operate there.

“If AELB is serious about reviewing the public comments and protecting the people, then it will not grant Lynas this licence,” Fuziah said. “To do so would be outrageous and scandalous.”

Science, Technology and Innnovation Minister Maximus Ongkili, meanwhile, was reported to have said this morning that the government would issue a statement within the next few days on whether Lynas was granted its coveted licence.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2012/01/30/aelb-keeps-mum-on-lynas-decision/

The Star Online – Maximus Ongkili: 1,123 suggestions received on Lynas’ lanthanide plan

Published: Monday January 30, 2012 MYT 8:05:00 PM
Updated: Monday January 30, 2012 MYT 8:06:09 PM

BANGI: The Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) received 1,123 suggestions and ideas from the public on Lynas (M) Sdn Bhd‘s application for a temporary operating licence to produce lanthanide.

Science, Technology and Innovations Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the feedback were sent to AELB by e-mails and letters.

“The board will take into account all these inputs. Altogether, 324 people came forward to scrutinise the Lynas’ application document displayed at four centres,” he said.

Ongkili added that the AELB met on Monday to study the suggestions and ideas, and would decide whether to award the licence.

“I hope they will issue a statement in the next few days depending on what has transpired in the meeting,” he said.

Contacted by Bernama, AELB director-general Datuk Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan said any decision derived from the meeting would be forwarded to the minister. BERNAMA

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=%2F2012%2F1%2F30%2Fnation%2F20120130201651&sec=nation

 

Malaysiakini – Lynas plant to be scrapped, pledges Pakatan

Anuradha Raghu, Reuters
5:15PM Jan 30, 2012

Pakatan Rakyat has vowed to scrap a controversial $200 million rare-earths processing plant being built by Australia’s Lynas Corp if it wins national elections expected to be called within months.

The Kuantan plant aims to weaken China’s monopoly on the global supply of the metals, which are used in a range of products from flat screens to iPhones and energy-efficient light bulbs.

It is also backed by Japanese investors keen to see the development of alternative supplies.

“The opposition will put a stop to the plant,” Fuziah Salleh, member of parliament for Kuantan where the plant is being built, told Reuters today.

“We are very clear about our position with regards to sustainable development. And Lynas is definitely not what we categorize as sustainable development.”

NONEThe opposition is backing some residents and green groups which have voiced fears over radioactivity from thorium waste from the plant, though Lynas says this will be extracted and kept in a facility that meets world standards for safe storage.

The opposition is seen as unlikely to win a parliamentary majority in the upcoming elections, but its shock gains four years ago mean a victory is not out of the question.

Its strong stance against the plant adds to uncertainty over the project as Lynas and its investors await a decision by Malaysian authorities as early as Monday on its application for a pre-operating licence to begin commissioning the plant.

Malaysia’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board confirmed it was discussing the Lynas case, but its director general Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan told Reuters it was not clear if a decision would be announced on Monday.

Government officials said the final decision would likely be made by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his cabinet next week.

The Malaysian plant is to process rare earths mined in Australia at Lynas’ Mount Weld project.

The operation is key to breaking China’s grip on the supply of rare earths metals, crucial in several green products such as hybrid cars.

Wary of voters

Japan is counting on Lynas to supply 8,500 tonnes a year of rare earths by early 2013 to curb its reliance on China, under a deal involving trading house Sojitz Corp and state-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp.

The Japanese came to Lynas’s rescue in 2010 with $325 million in funding after the Australian government balked at approving a Chinese bid for a majority stake in the company.

azlanLynas has also lined up Germany’s BASF as a customer and has plans to form a joint venture with Siemens AG to make magnets for wind turbines using rare earths products from the Malaysian plant.

Lynas shares rose 1.95 percent to A$1.31 on Monday.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has also spoken out against the plant, saying he would scrap it if his disparate three-party alliance wins the election.

Protests by local residents during construction of the plant prompted an investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Lynas received a favourable report from the IAEA but was told to provide a long-term waste management and safety plan.

It says that its plant is not comparable at all to a rare-earths plant that was shut by a unit of Mitsubishi Chemicals in Malaysia in 1992, after residents there blamed the plant for birth defects and a high rate of leukemia cases.

Najib wants more foreign investment but is wary of sparking voter anger after his ruling coalition suffered record losses in 2008 polls.

Fuziah said Lynas’ plan for managing the radioactive waste was “shoddy and full of holes”. She said it had yet to identify a permanent disposal site for the waste that would not be a risk to the environment or public health.

“Lynas claims that they are for green technology because rare earths is used in green technology,” Fuziah told Reuters.

“There’s nothing green about a rare earth refinery,” she added.

– Reuters

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/187832

Free Malaysia Today – Lynas refuses to speculate on granting licence

Stephanie Sta Maria | January 30, 2012

Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh meanwhile says it would be outrageous for AELB to make a decision on the current document.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Atomic Energy Licencing Board (AELB) is holding its much awaited board meeting this afternoon during which it is expected to make a decision on the issuance of a temporary operating licence for Lynas Corp.

AELB director-general, Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan, last week said that while Lynas is on the agenda, there is a possibility that no announcement on the decision will be made today.

But neither Lynas nor its detractors were willing to be drawn into speculation over the impending outcome.

In a brief statement to FMT, Lynas said that it would refrain from commenting on the matter out of respect for the regulatory review of the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP).

?To pre-empt or pre-suppose any outcomes of this review would be inappropriate and we will not be drawn on third part speculation,? said Liz Whitway, Lynas? General Manager for Brand, Communication and Community Value.

“The Malaysian regulatory authorities have put in place a comprehensive process to monitor and evaluate Lynas’ compliance with the highest international standards and it is our responsibility to operate the plant in a safe and sustainable manner.”

Whiteway further reiterated Lynas’ deep commitment to the local communities and its ongoing communication to highlight the facts on the safety of the LAMP.

Kuantan MP and Lynas’ most vocal critic, Fuziah Salleh, also declined to offer her expectation of AELB’s board decision but said that it was in no position to grant Lynas’ the licence based on its current radioactive waste management plan (RWMP).

Lynas had displayed the 300-page document for public viewing for three weeks beginning January 3 and had collected public feedback on January 26.

Anti-Lynas groups and independent experts had slammed the RWMP as being “shoddy and full of holes”, and warned that the lives of the residents in Gebeng would be at great risk if the controversial RM2.5 million facility is allowed to operate there.

“It has only been four days since the submission of feedback,” Fuziah pointed out. “If AELB is serious about reviewing the public comments and protecting the people then it will not grant Lynas this licence. To do so would be outrageous and scandalous.”

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innnovation, Maximus Ongkili, meanwhile was reported to have said this morning that the government would issue a statement within the next few days on whether Lynas was granted its coveted licence.

The Malaysian Insider – Pakatan pledges to dump Lynas plant if voted in

January 30, 2012

The Lynas refinery in Kuantan is due to become operational this year. – File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 – Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has vowed to scrap a controversial US$200 million (RM600 million) rare-earths processing plant being built by Australia’s Lynas Corp if it wins the general election expected to be called within months.

The plant in Kuantan, Pahang aims to weaken China’s monopoly on the global supply of the metals, which are used in a range of products from flat screens to iPhones and energy-efficient light bulbs. It is also backed by Japanese investors keen to see the development of alternative supplies.

“The opposition will put a stop to the plant,” Fuziah Salleh, an opposition member of parliament for Kuantan where the plant is being built, told Reuters today.

“We are very clear about our position with regards to sustainable development. And Lynas is definitely not what we categorise as sustainable development.”

PR is backing some residents and green groups which have voiced fears over radioactivity from thorium waste from the plant, though Lynas says this will be extracted and kept in a facility that meets world standards for safe storage.

PR is seen as unlikely to win a parliamentary majority in the upcoming elections, but its shock gains four years ago mean a victory is not out of the question.

Its strong stance against the plant adds to uncertainty over the project as Lynas and its investors await a decision by Malaysian authorities as early as Monday on its application for a pre-operating licence to begin commissioning the plant.

The Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) confirmed it was discussing the Lynas case, but its director general, Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan, told Reuters it was not clear if a decision would be announced today.

Government officials said the final decision would likely be made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Cabinet next week.

The Malaysian plant is to process rare earths mined in Australia at Lynas’ Mount Weld project. The operation is key to breaking China?s grip on the supply of rare earths metals, crucial in several green products such as hybrid cars.

Japan is counting on Lynas to supply 8,500 tonnes a year of rare earths by early 2013 to curb its reliance on China, under a deal involving trading house Sojitz Corp and state-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp.

The Japanese came to Lynas’s rescue in 2010 with US$325 million in funding after the Australian government balked at approving a Chinese bid for a majority stake in the company.

Lynas has also lined up Germany’s BASF as a customer and has plans to form a joint venture with Siemens AG to make magnets for wind turbines using rare earths products from the Malaysian plant.

Lynas shares rose 1.95 per cent to A$1.31 today.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has also spoken out against the plant, saying he would scrap it if his disparate three-party alliance wins the election. Protests by local residents during construction of the plant prompted an investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Lynas received a favourable report from the IAEA but was told to provide a long-term waste management and safety plan.

It says that its plant is not comparable at all to a rare-earths plant that was shut by a unit of Mitsubishi Chemicals in Malaysia in 1992, after residents there blamed the plant for birth defects and a high rate of leukaemia cases.

Prime Minister Najib wants more foreign investment but is wary of sparking voter anger after his ruling coalition suffered record losses in 2008 polls.

Fuziah said Lynas’s plan for managing the radioactive waste was “shoddy and full of holes”. She said it had yet to identify a permanent disposal site for the waste that would not be a risk to the environment or public health.

“Lynas claims that they are for green technology because rare earths is used in green technology,” Fuziah told Reuters. “There’s nothing green about a rare earth refinery,” she added. – Reuters

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/pakatan-pledges-to-dump-lynas-plant-if-voted-in/