The Malaysian Insider – PKR says Najib will pick Lynas over public

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
March 24, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak will not protect public interest in the Lynas Corp’s rare earth plant controversy — despite forming a parliamentary select committee (PSC) — as his administration has a track record of inaction in previous scandals, says PKR.“There are just too many other cases which have shaken the people’s confidence in our country’s administration, the judiciary, the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

“Can we trust that Najib will act in the interest of the people, even after the PSC has tabled its report??” PKR vice president Fuziah Salleh (picture)said in a statement here.

The PSC on Lynas Corp’s plans for a refinery, said Fuziah would not stop the plant from being built and would only delay the construction until after the next general election.

She listed examples of alleged white-washing by the government in high-profile cases such as the inaction in the Teoh Beng Hock case despite the fact that a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) had been tasked to look into the matter.

The Kuantan MP, who has led protests against the refinery, also cited two unanswered questions in the gruesome murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibu’s and the failure to set up a tribunal to investigate criminal allegations surrounding the Attorney-General and the former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan.

“Is this his plot to use the PSC to buy time and allow Lynas to continue with its construction? When he returns to power in the next general election, he can give Lynas the go ahead to operate… if Pakatan takes over the federal government, it would be forced to compensate a huge sum of money.”

Najib told radio station 988FM in an interview yesterday he would scrap the Lynas plant construction if there was scientific evidence to prove it was hazardous.

Putrajaya announced that it would set up a parliamentary select committee on the Lynas rare earth plant in Kuantan, which has stoked fears of radiation pollution.

The committee on Lynas was approved in Dewan Rakyat this week amid opposition furore over the alleged lack of terms of reference and suspicion that the nine-man panel’s will be used to “whitewash” the issue.

PR lawmakers also questioned the point of the select committee given that Najib had already said the government will not be bound by the panel’s findings.

They subsequently announced a boycott of the panel, saying it has no power to decide the fate of the RM2.3 billion project.

The decision to set up the panel came after months of fierce opposition to the project from PR, civil society groups and the public.

Thousands of anti-Lynas protestors attended an opposition-backed rally by Himpunan Hijau last month in the largest protest yet against the refinery, which is expected to fire up later this year.

Critics allege that Lynas Corp has failed to give enough assurances on how it will handle the low-level radioactive waste that will be produced at the plant, 25km from Kuantan city centre.

But the Australian miner maintains that waste from the Gebeng plant will not be hazardous and can be easily recycled for commercial applications.

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