Group to ask court to suspend Lynas TOL

Free Malaysia Today
Teoh El Sen
| September 24, 2012

SMSL is asking the Kuantan High Court to decide if it would suspend the Temporary Operating Licence given to Lynas pending the disposal of two judicial review cases.

PETALING JAYA: Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas (SMSL) will apply to the Kuantan High Court tomorrow to suspend the Temporary Operating Licence (TOL) that has been given to Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP).

The anti-Lynas lobby group will ask the court to suspend the TOL until the court hears two judicial review cases related to the controversial rare earth plant, said SMSL spokesperson Tan Bun Teet.

“A responsible government would never have issued the TOL knowing full well that the court has accepted SMSL’s two judicial review applications,” said Tan in a statement today.

“Furthermore, neither the AELB (Atomic Energy Licensing Board) nor MOSTI (Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation) has responded to SMSL’s legal letter requesting for the TOL to be suspended by the due date of Sept 10,” he added.

On Aug 28, Justice Mariana Yahya allowed two judicial review applications from two groups, both linked to SMSL.

One was to challenge the decision of the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation not to revoke the TOL following an appeal by Kuantan residents.

The other was to review and revoke the granting of TOL to LAMP on Jan 30 on grounds that no detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA) was done; and that a fresh radiological impact assessment (RIA) and a radioactive waste management plan (RWMP) should have been submitted to AELB for approval before the TOL was granted.

Kuantan resident Ismail Abu Bakar said in the statement: “Lynas has not found a solution for its waste. We are concerned with the risks of air and water pollution on top of it. Why should the TOL be issued under such uncertainties and risky situation?”

Urging anti-Lynas supporters to gather at the Kuantan court in Bandar Indera Mahkota Court Complex tomorrow, Tan said: “Tomorrow will be a good test of our judicial system in delivering justice. We wait in hope that the truth shall prevail and that justice will be dealt.”

The rare earth plant has seen heavy opposition as residents and activists have claimed that the plant, which handles radioactive waste, poses health hazards. However, Lynas Corp has consistently maintained that waste from RM2.5 billion rare-earth refinery plant is not hazardous, and can be easily recycled for commercial applications.

The plant, located at Gebeng, Kuantan, was granted TOL on Jan 30. But the actual issuance of the TOL, allowing a two-year operation until 2014, was only reportedly given out earlier this month.

Following a massive anti-Lynas rally on Feb 26 in Kuantan, a parliamentary select committee (PSC) was set up to look into the safety standards of the project. In June, the PSC concluded that the TOL should be granted as the plant has met all standards and legal requirements.

YouTube – Protest outside Lynas Corp. HQ in Sydney on 20 Sept 2012

Published on 21 Sep 2012 by GreenLeftTV
Some of the people who participated in the Stop Lynas action outside the company’s HQ in Sydney on September 20 explain why they are protesting against the company’s rare earth refinery in Kuantan, Malaysia.

Published on 21 Sep 2012 by GreenLeftTV
Peter Boyle, an activist in the Stop Lynas campaign in Australia addressing a protest outside Lynas Corporation HQ in Sydney on September 20, 2012. Filmed by Philippa Velhinho and edited by Peter Boyle. The protesters plan to hold another action when the company holds its shareholders AGM in Sydney on November 20.

Published on 21 Sep 2012 by GreenLeftTV
Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker addressed a protest outside the corporate HQ of Lynas, the Australian company which has is trying to operate a controversial rare earth refinery in Kuantan, Malaysia, against the wishes of local residents. Lynas built this plant in Malaysia to take advantage of the country’s lower environmental standards, he said.


Harvest of Hope by Vincent Jiam
Published on YouTube on 20 Sep 2012 by Vijayan

The Lynas rare earth processing plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, Malaysia has received unprecedented protests and objection from the people of Malaysia. Here lawmakers & parliamentarians sign a declaration that they are committed to stopping the project. This is the story of a kindergarten teacher and his noble efforts.

Activists to protest outside Lynas HQ in Sydney

10:17AM Sep 20, 2012

Australian activists staged a protest outside Lynas Corporation’s head office in Sydney this afternoon against the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp) in Gebeng, Kuantan.

NONEThe environmental group Friends of the Earth said the protest took place at 10.30am Malaysia time (12.30pm Sydney time), outside the company’s office at Pitt Street and lasted about an hour.

According to Malaysian-based NGO Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL), between 30 and 40 people took part in the rally, including Malaysian expatriates.

The protesters, some wearing white Tyvek coveralls and gas masks, reportedly chanted “Shame Lynas, shame!” through loudspeakers while carrying placards that read “Stop Lynas”, “People before corporate greed!” and “Say ‘No’ to toxic plant in Malaysia”.

One of the group’s members, Tully McIntyre, said the protest was to express dissent over Lynas’ plan to export radioactive ore from Mount Weld in Australia to the Kuantan plant when it begins operations.

‘Don’t force project on unwilling community’

McIntyre said the Australian company should not be forcing the project on an unwilling international community.

NONE“The campaign against Lynas in Malaysia is the biggest environmental campaign in Malaysian history. Australian activists will continue to show strong support with the Malaysians to stop Lynas exporting this toxic legacy,” she said.

“Lynas plans to export 22,000 tonnes of ore annually to Malaysia for processing, which risks polluting important mangrove coastal ecosystem and major sources of livelihood for local people in Malaysia.

“There are well over 700,000 people living in a 30km radius of Lamp.

“These people were not consulted about the refinery, (and there was no) proper environmental impact statement carried out for Lamp,” McIntyre also said.

She added that Lynas has applied to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (Arpansa) to import waste back to Australia, saying, “If so, Australians are wondering where it would be stored.”

NONEAustralian activists want “more stringent research to be carried out in Australia and abroad before proceeding further”, she said.

Also addressing the protesters at the lunchtime protest was New South Wales Greens MP for Balmain, Jamie Parker (left).

SMSL quoted Parker as saying that “Lynas has not been transparent”, especially in claiming that its waste is safe.

The Malaysian regulator Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) had said that Lynas has given assurance that it would process its water leach purification (WLP) residues – that activists claim contain radioactivity – into commercial products, leaving no waste behind.

The board later said that Lynas has also given a letter of undertaking committing itself to remove the residue out of Malaysia, although a statement before that contradicts it when AELB said that the commitment to ship out the waste was non-binding on the TOL.

Last week, two members of the Western Australian Green Legislative Council joined the chorus of dissent against the plant’s impending operations after receiving its controversial temporary operating licence (TOL).

Lynn MacLaren and Robin Chapple in their joint statement blasted their government for “washing its hands” off its responsibilities.

Aktivis protes di luar ibupejabat Lynas di Sydney


10:29AM Sep 20 2012

Aktivis merancang untuk mengadakan protes di luar ibupejabat Lynas Corporation di Sydney petang ini sebagai membantah  loji Lynas di Gebeng, Kuantan.

Menurut kumpulan ‘Friends of Earth’ Australia, bantahan itu akan diadakan pada jam 2.30 petang waktu Malaysia, di luar pejabat syarikat tersebut di Pitt St.

Seorang anggota kumpulan tersebut, Tully McIntyre berkata, protes itu adalah untuk menyatakan tentangan terhadap rancangan mengeksport bijih radioaktif dari Mount Weld di Australia ke loji Kuantan apabila ia mula beroperasi..

[Baca berita Penuh]

Kumpulan Anti-Lynas mahu tahu rancangan pembuangan sisa, bernazar untuk lawan

The Malaysian Insider
Oleh Ida Lim
September 17, 2012

Kumpulan menentang loji nadir bumi Lynas berjanji akan berjuang sehingga ke titik akhir. — Gambar AFP

KUALA LUMPUR, 17 Sept — Kumpulan akar umbi pergerakan kekal tidak yakin dengan janji Lynas Corporation dan Putrajaya untuk menguruskan sisa dari loji nadir bumi kontroversi pelombong Australia di Kuantan, hari ini menuntut syarikat itu mendedahkan pelan terperinci atau “akan melawan hingga saat akhir”. 

Dua minggu lalu, Lembaga Pelesenan Tenaga Atom Malaysia (AELB) mengeluarkan lesen operasi sementara (TOL) bagi Lynas Corp walaupun bantahan meluas, berhujah bahawa pelombong Australia itu terikat di sisi undang-undang untuk membuang sisa radioaktif dari kilang dan mengembalikan baki ke Australia.

Lynas Corp telah memohon ke Australia untuk “mengimport bahan” dari joji walaupun dasar Canberra adalah untuk menolak sisa radioaktif, kata seorang Diplomat Australia Jumaat lepas.

Pengerusi Himpunan Hijau, Wong Tack, memberi amaran tegas kepada Lynas dengan mengatakan bahawa: “Melainkan jika anda mempunyai rancangan yang sangat jelas, kita tidak akan membenarkan anda mempunyai apa-apa untuk masuk”

“Rakyat telah memutuskan kita tidak mahu industri ini di negara kita.”

“Pek dan pergi atau kita akan berjuang hingga akhir,” kata Wong, walaupun kumpulan anti-Lynas yang lain gagal untuk mendapatkan kebenaran Mahkamah Rayuan untuk semakan keputusan kehakiman tentang TOL.

Beliau juga berkata terdapat beberapa soalan yang tidak dapat diselesaikan: “Pelabuhan mana akan anda lalui? Bagaimana anda akan pek? Bagaimana anda akan mengangkut ia? Berapa lama mereka akan menyimpan sebelum kapal mereka kembali?“

Tan Bun Teet, pengerusi bersama Selamatkan Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL), berkata: “Adalah melucukan apabila kerajaan Malaysia mengeluarkan TOL untuk Lynas apabila kita tidak tahu bagaimana Lynas akan menguruskan sisa pepejal dan terdapat banyak isu-isu tertunggak.”

“Adalah sangat berisiko bagi Malaysia untuk membolehkan rancangan yang akan menghasilkan begitu banyak sisa di negara kita apabila kita tidak tahu bagaimana bagaimana Lynas akan berurusan dengan sisa dan dalam cara yang praktikal, “ kata Tan.

“SMSL ingin tahu setiap perincian kerana orang ramai mempunyai hak untuk tahu dan kami ingin meneliti setiap cadangan bahawa Lynas meletakkan keluar untuk memastikan mereka yang berdaya maju dan selamat.”

Tan berkata bahawa “SMSL akan mengambil segala tindakan yang mungkin untuk mencuba melalui mahkamah dan ingat TOL dan untuk mengenakan tekanan politik melalui pengundi bagi menghentikan projek ini.”

Pengerusi Gabungan Hentikan Lynas (SLC), Andansura Rabu berkongsi pandangan Wong dengan mengatakan bahawa: “Kami masih mahu belajar apa yang sebenar mereka rancangkan.”

“Kami mahu melihat rancangan terperinci apa yang mereka akan lakukan sebelum mereka dibenarkan untuk memproses dan mengendalikan.”

Beliau berkata bahawa gabungan itu “ragu-ragu pelaksanaan rancangan Lynas”, sama ada ia akan melibatkan mengubah sisa ke dalam perdagangan produk atau menghantar sisa kembali ke Australia.

Walaupun SLC bersetuju kepada kedua-dua idea, Andansura berkata mereka kekal tidak yakin jaminan Lynas.

“Ia adalah satu jumlah yang besar sisa … kotor untuk mengendalikan sisa dan eksport,” katanya.

Lynas menerima TOL minggu lepas daripada pihak berkuasa Malaysia, memberi laluan bagi loji nadir bumi untuk memulakan operasi walaupun bantahan awam yang meluas terhadap isu keselamatan dan alam sekitar.

Lynas berkata bahawa ia akan mula mengangkut dan melengkapkan semua langkah menyediakan memperkayakan bijih nadir bumi yang dilombong di Australia pada Oktober.

TOL membolehkan Lynas untuk beroperasi bagi tempoh dua tahun mulai 3 September.

AELB telah menekankan bahawa Lynas mesti mematuhi semua keperluan dan syarat-syarat yang dikenakan oleh kementerian sains, teknologi dan inovasi melalui Akta Perlesenan Tenaga Atom.

Dua minggu lalu, lima penduduk Kuantan diberikan peluang oleh mahkamah tinggi Kuantan untuk mencabar keputusan menteri sains, teknologi dan inovasi untuk menganugerahkan TOL kepada pelombong Australia.

Minggu lepas, SLC telah gagal dalam usaha untuk mendapatkan kebenaran daripada mahkamah rayuan untuk ulasan berasingan keputusan kehakiman untuk AELB memberikan TOL kepada Lynas.

Anti-Lynas groups insist on seeing waste plans, vow to fight on

The Malaysian Insider
By Ida Lim
September 17, 2012

The groups protesting against the Lynas facility are not giving up the fight. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 – Local grassroots movements remain unconvinced by Lynas Corp and Putrajaya’s vow to manage waste from the Australian miner’s controversial rare earth plant in Kuantan, demanding today that the firm reveal a detailed disposal plan or face a “fight to the end”.

Two weeks ago, Malaysia’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) issued a temporary operating licence (TOL) to Lynas despite widespread protests, but added that the Australian miner was legally bound to remove radioactive waste from its plant and return the residue to Australia.

Lynas had applied to Australia to “import material” from the plant although Canberra’s policy is to reject radioactive waste, an Australian diplomat reportedly said last Friday.

Wong Tack, chairman of local environment group Himpunan Hijau, gave a stern warning to Lynas, saying that: “Unless you have very clear plans, we will not allow you to have anything coming in.”

“People have decided we don’t want this industry in our country.”

“Pack and go or we’ll fight to the end,” Wong said, despite another anti-Lynas group’s recent unsuccessful bid at the Court of Appeal for permission for a judicial review of the TOL decision.

He also said there were a number of unresolved questions over the proposed export of Lynas’s waste.

“Which port are you going through? How are you going to pack it? How are you going to transport it? How long are they going to store before they ship it back?”

Tan Bun Teet, the chairman of Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL), agreed. “It is ludicrous that government of Malaysia issued the TOL to Lynas when we don’t even know how Lynas is going to manage the solid waste and there are many outstanding issues.”

“It’s very risky for Malaysia to allow plans that will produce so much waste in our country when we don’t how Lynas is going to deal with them safely and in a practical way,” Tan said.

“SMSL would like to know every detail because the public has the right to know and we would like to scrutinise every proposal that Lynas is putting out to make sure they are viable and safe.”

Tan said that SMSL will take all possible legal actions to contest the TOL and to exert political pressure to stop this project.

Stop Lynas Coalition’s (SLC) chairman Andansura Rabu echoed Wong’s views, saying that it similarly wanted to learn of Lynas’s actual plans.

“We would like to see detailed plans of what they are going to do before they are allowed to process and operate,” Andansura said.

He said that the coalition is “sceptical” of Lynas’s “implementation” of its plans, whether it would involve turning waste into commercial products or sending waste back to Australia.

Although SLC is agreeable to both ideas, Andansura said they remain unconvinced of Lynas’s assurance.

“It’s a huge amount of waste… messy to handle the waste and export,” he pointed out.

The TOL Lynas received two weeks ago from Malaysian authorities has paved the way for its rare earth plant to begin operations despite widespread public protests over safety and environmental concerns.

Lynas said that it would begin transporting and completing all steps to prepare enriching the rare earth ore mined in Australia by October.

The TOL allows Lynas to operate for a period of two years beginning September 3.

The AELB had emphasised that Lynas must adhere to all requirements and conditions imposed by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation through the Atomic Energy Licensing Act.

Two weeks ago, five Kuantan residents were given the Kuantan High Court’s nod to challenge the science, technology and innovation minister’s decision to award a TOL to the Australian miner.

Last week, SLC had failed in its bid to get leave from the Court of Appeal for a separate judicial review of AELB’s decision to grant a TOL to Lynas.