KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 (Bernama) – Public debate on the rare earth plant by Lynas Corporation Ltd of Australia in Gebeng, Kuantan should stop until experts complete a safety study at month end.
Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said the issue should not be discussed because they are not experts in the field.
“That’s why we bring in experts appointed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) so that government can make the right decision. We will accept advice given by IAEA and will cancel the project if poses danger to the people.
“However, if IAEA finds that it does not pose a health danger, everyone must accept reality and do our best,” he said when winding up debate on the Industrial Development Board Bill (Incorporated) (Amendment) Act 2011.
Mukhriz said the government will not make any decision about the project until a report on the safety study is obtained.
IAEA has appointed a team of eight experts led by Waste Technology and Nuclear Fuel Cycle Division director Dr Tero Varjoranta of Finland to conduct a safety and health review of Lynas plant from May 29-June 3.
A report on their findings will be submitted to the government on June 30.
The Lynas issue dominated the debate resulting in a war of words between government backbenders and the opposition.
Fuziah Salleh (PKR-Kuantan) claimed decision to develop the project was flawed as licence for the plant’s construction was issued before public consultation was held.
“The plant is almost ready. Pressure from us led to the calling of panel of experts and public consultation.”
She objected to the RM700mil nuclear plant project as it can cause radiation detrimental to public health and questioned the environment impact assessment.
Fuziah’s claim that the panel did not include public health experts prompted Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahalan (BN-Kota Belud) to say it was impossible to convince her.
The bill was subsequently passed. Dewan Rakyat session continues tomorrow.