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.

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