Court grants SMSL leave to challenge Lynas TOL

3:28PM Aug 28, 2012

Stop Lynas Save Malaysia (SMSL) has obtained leave to challenge the Atomic Energy Licensing Board’s decision to grant a temporary operating licence (TOL) for the Lynas rare earth processing plant in Gebeng.

Kuantan High Court judge Justice Mariana Yahya has allowed a judicial review of Science and Technology Minister Maxmimus Ongkili’s rejection of the SMSL’s appeal against the TOL in June.”This means we get to proceed with the judicial review. The dates and all other related matters will be decided later and all parties shall be informed accordingly,” SMSL chairperson Tan Bun Teet (left) said by email today, after the decision was handed down.

Tan said Lynas’ lawyers had turned up in court this morning to apply to become a party to the proceedings.

“But they withdrew at the last minute when (lawyers) from all the three parties (government, Lynas and SMSL) met in chambers” he said.

AG’s consent

To the group’s surprise, he said, the attorney-general’s chambers (AGC) did not oppose the application for judicial review.

“We expected the representatives from the (AGC) to raise an objection … but instead they consented,” he said.

NONEOn Feb 1, the government had approved the TOL for the Lynas Advanced Material Plant in Gebeng.

Following fierce opposition from locals demanding the revocation of the TOL, a parliamentary select committee was set up to study the matter.

Subsequently, the TOL approval remained but additional conditions were imposed on Lynas.

Lynas had in July attempted to obtain a gag order against SMSL which has been vocal of the project, which will be crucial in breaking China’s monopoly of the rare earths processing industry.

However, the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed the application, ruling that the matter is of public interest.

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