The two judicial review applications filed by anti-Lynas group Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) are to be heard by the High Court in Kuantan at 9am on Tuesday next week.
SMSL spokesperson Tan Bun Teet announced last month that he and two other activists would file for a judicial review of the award of a temporary operating licence (TOL) to rare earths refinery Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp) in Gebeng by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board.
Vice-chairperson Ismail Abu Bakar and two other Kuantan residents would also file a judicial review of Minister of Science and Technology Maxmimus Ongkili’s decision to reject their appeal against the Lamp TOL.
“Since last March, when we first heard of the Lynas project, we have sought advice from relevant experts. As responsible citizens, we have written to raise our concerns with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti), Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) and also the prime minister.
“None has addressed the issues we have raised. Then, we facilitated concerned citizens to appeal to the Mosti minister, with expert information and evidence we obtained about the Lynas project. The minister has also let us down,” Tan (above) said in a press statement today.
Action to be taken in Australia as well
SMSL explained that the minister responded by imposing conditions on Lynas but did not suspend the TOL, even if it would cause risks to the environment, local economy and human health.
“All we have seen so far are recommendations and conditions. How have the government and Lynas met the recommendations from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)?
“What has Lynas done to satisfy the government’s conditions? Where is the transparency that the IAEA has emphasised?” Ismail asked.
He also said that the lives of residents would be affected and that Kuantan, the state capital, would become a depressing place once Lynas started operating.
“The government has failed in its duty of care to protect us, the rakyat, and the environment which we rely on for our survival,” Ismail added.
The environmental group is also exploring and preparing for legal action to be taken in Australia, where Lynas is based, to stop the refinery from operating.