K Pragalath | March 20, 2012
The lack of a waste management plan and EIA report are among the points raised in the submission by the lawyers.
KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyers for the 10 Gebeng residents submitted to the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s Appeals and Special Powers division judge Rohana Yusuf on why the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (LAMP) project should be stopped.
The submissions were heard within chambers.
The anti-Lynas coalition members who are the appellants seeking judicial review were represented by Tommy Thomas, K Shanmuga and B Mahaletchmi.
The first two respondents – Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) and director-general of Environment Quality Department – were represented by senior federal counsel Suzana Atan and Nor Hisham Ismail.
The third respondent, Lynas Corporation, is represented by Dominic Puthucheary and Wong Kah Hui.
All 10 Gebeng residents filed a suit against the AELB and two others on Feb 17 alleging that the radiation agency had issued Lynas Corporation a temporary operating licence (TOL) for its RM2.5 billion plant in return for a slice of the firm’s revenue.
They live within a radius of 18km from the controversial plant in Gebeng, near Kuantan, which has stoked fears of radiation pollution.
Speaking to the press after the submissions this morning, Shanmuga on behalf of the appellants pointed out that International Trade and Industry Ministry via its website stated that the government wants a comprehensive waste management plan.
“We also showed the severe environmental damage in China due to rare earth mining and processing and raised health and safety issues in Bukit Merah,” Shanmuga said.
He also accused AELB’s public viewing exercise as a “farce” to obtain the TOL in January.
The lawyers also raised concerns from the Malaysian Medical Association for a “fail-safe” site.
The team of lawyers is challenging the issuance of TOL based on the need for a EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) report.
“Under the Environment Quality Act 1974, EIA report must be done before AELB approves any licence.
“On June 20 last year, the Department of Environment Quality had also stated the need for a detailed EIA report where there are radioactive activities.
“There’s no dispute Lynas does not have a detailed EIA so we are saying the entire approval is illegal and therefore you don’t need to appeal.
“You can come for judicial appeal and the court must quash the approval,” said Shanmuga.
He also told the press that the judge has instructed AELB to file an affidavit to explain what has been approved.
“The judge wants to know what Lynas can do with the approval.”
The next hearing will be heard on April 4 at 10am