Yesterday Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s stated that Lynas must shift its waste away from its Gebeng plant to an isolated location ending speculation that it will be shipped out of the country. At the same time, Bloomberg reported that Western Australia will be collecting A$18millions in taxes.
“We want our PM to explain why we in Malaysia get NOT a single cent in taxes but have to accept Lynas’ radioactive waste?” queried Mr Andansura Rabu, Chairperson of SLC and Mr Tan Bun Teet, Chairperson of SMSL.
“Where are we going to dump the waste? In Temerloh, in Pekan, in Maran or in our Taman Negara? “ added Mr Rabu and Mr Tan
According to the Long Term Radioactive Waste Management plan submitted by Lynas Malaysia in its application for the licence for its rare earth refinery (Also known as Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP)) in Gebeng, the waste will have to be stored in the state of Pahang.
Following the 15,000-strong Stop Lynas rally in Kuantan and other solidarity actions throughout Malaysia, a series of erratic and contradictory statements have been made by various cabinet ministers and the Director-General of the Atomic Energy Licensing Board Raja Abdul Aziz Adnan.
Health Minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai on 29th Feb 2012 said Lynas is required to move its radioactive wastes outside of Kuantan and ship them back to Australia. The statement was made after a Cabinet discussion involving three ministers in charge of regulating the Lynas project – they included the Ministers of International Trade and Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and the Minister for Natural Resources and Environment.
AELB’s Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan insisted that Lynas’s radioactive waste will not be radioactive any more once it has been treated by Lynas. He implied that the Western Australia government can take back Lynas’ treated waste. In reality, radioactivity cannot be rid of through any form of treatments. It can only be transferred from one waste stream to another and from one kind of residue to another. In the end it is still radioactive.
The Western Australian Government through the Minister for Mines and Petroleum Norman Moore has stated twice – once in answering to questions raised by Greens MP Robin Chapple in April last year, and when asked by journalist last week – that his Government would NOT accept any radioactive waste from another country including that generated by Lynas.
Malaysia’s suggestion has essentially contravened our commitment under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. Malaysia is a signatory to the Convention which is legally binding. It is illegal under international law to transport hazardous waste like that from the Lynas plant across national boundaries.
“The Government’s erratic, confusing and factually incorrect statements are a clear indication that it has NO IDEA what to do with Lynas’ radioactive waste. Why then do we issue the licence to Lynas? What about rakyat’s health, our livelihoods and our future?” Added Mr Rabu
SLC and SMSL are disappointed that our Government has not heed the strong opposition expressed by local residents and the voices of dissent by Malaysians in general that we do not want the Lynas plant in our country.
“Even if the Government can satisfactorily find a permanent disposal site, what about the 500 tonnes of contaminated run-off from the plant that will be drained into the Balok River and into the South China Sea EVERYDAY? What about the 100,000 cubic metre of waste gas EVERY HOUR that will be polluting our air?”concluded Mr Rabu and Mr Tan.
SLC and SMSL are giving the Government an ultimatum – either PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Administration stop the LAMP from operating in Malaysia or we will embark on a nation-wide campaign to vote this Government out.