The Kuantan MP replies to criticisms by Lynas-hired Nick Tsurikov.
PETALING JAYA: Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh today shot back at radiation expert Nick Tsurikov, who has disputed statements she made recently regarding the dangers posed by the rare earth project in Gebeng, near Kuantan.
She criticised his analysis as “shallow” and questioned his standing as an independent expert, noting that he was hired by Lynas Corp, the Australian mining company that is setting up the Gebeng operations.
In a letter to Fuziah dated Aug 29, Tsurikov disputed several statements that she made in an interview on TV PAS. Fauziah, who is a vice president in PKR, made the letter public today and gave her replies to his ciriticisms.
She said Tsukirov had chosen a “narrow-tunnel” perspective to “put in a shallow analysis”.
“He is looking from a radiation perspective whereas we are facing a multi-faceted issue.”
She also said Tsurikov, who is based in Australia, was unable to understand the seriousness of the situation.
One of Tsukirov’s objections was against Fuziah’s claim that Lynas would follow standard practices in China. He said the allegation was not supported by documentation or any other evidence.
In response to this, Fuziah quoted reports alleging that Lynas was using China Standards GB9133-88 as a benchmark.
“I mentioned that there are no rare earth refineries in operation outside China at the moment. Thus we do not have a benchmark. Neither do we have a best practice in rare earth refining.”
Tsurikov also disputed Fuziah’s claims about possible uranium leakages into the water system. To this, the MP pointed out the Balok river’s proximity to the Gebeng industrial zone.
“Our technical team is very concerned that some of the uranium will be dissolved during the process of extraction at high temperature using acids,” she said.
Fuziah denied calling for the closure of all rare earth plants in the world, in response to Tsurikov’s remark that consumers would be denied a vast array of products and services if such operations were closed down.