PERJUANGAN YANG BARU BERMULA

Free Malaysia Today – Lynas harshest critic to meet plant’s management

Tarani Palani | June 22, 2011

Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh says she will meet Lynas executive chairman and wants the meeting to be open in the interest of transparency.

KUALA LUMPUR: The harshest critic of the Lynas rare earth plant Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh and the executive chaiman of the company will meet to explore the problems facing the plant.

The invitation for the meeting came from Lynas executive chairman Nicholas Curtis who wanted to meet the MP as soon as possible, so that the issues of concern could be “constructively engaged face to face”.

In accepting the invitation for the meeting, Fuziah also asked for the meeting between the two to be an open event which can be attended by stakeholders and also members of the media, in the interest of transparency.

“I welcome your efforts to engage in meaningful dialogues and your response to call for more transparent engagements by the public,” she read from her response letter to Curtis today in Parliament.

Fuziah had also recommended to meet on July 1 as the current on-going Parliament session will only end on June 30.

Besides concerns of waste management which Fuziah has repeatedly raised over the past three months, she said today that she also want to discuss her concerns of processing and operation components of Lynas.

It was reported that Curtis was on a one-day PR exercise yesterday where he met with some editors from both the mainstream and alternative media.

“I am not worried about anything. I have my facts. I have done my research. I am prepared to meet Curtis face to face for a one on one discussion,” stressed the Kuantan MP.

Harassment

Curtis, in his invitation letter to Fuziah had also revealed that some Lynas personnel faced harassment.

“On Friday evening, June 17, two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the Kuantan residence of LAMP (Lynas Advanced Materials Plant) Construction Manager, Bill Morris. A sign ‘Go Back To Australia Lynas’, was painted on Bill’s front fence,” he wrote in his letter, adding that Morris was not hurt.

Fuziah today expressed her heartfelt concern and sympathy over the incidents and said that this was one such example where the Lynas plant had already caused instability to the community.

The controversial plant at Gebeng has ran into strong opposition from Kuantan residents who feared radiation from the waste produced. To tackle the discontent, the government has called in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to study radioactive concerns of the project.

The IAEA panel is set to give its full report on the matter by the end of this month. However, opponents of Lynas have continued voicing their criticism over the proposed plant, particularly raising concerns over its potential radioactive waste.

The Lynas plant is scheduled to begin producing rare earth- a material indispensable in making many high-tech products – by the end of September.

The RM700 million facility will refine raw material from Mount Weld in Western Australia and set to provide the first new source of supply of rare earth outside China.

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