On Saturday 14th July, a variety of creative actions will be taken up by concerned citizens, civil society groups and political parties in various states to show their opposition to the Lynas rare earth project in Malaysia.
Mr Tan Bun Teet, the spokesperson for SMSL and a Kuantan resident said,
“Each and every one of us have toiled and worked hard to better our life and to provide for our family. We are citizens of Malaysia – the rakyat – have been paying taxes to build our nation. Yet we are now expected to live with a giant rare earth plant that pays no tax.”
“On top of that, Lynas will be leaving behind huge amount of radioactive waste and mountains of contaminated waste sludge. Our air, our water and our food risk being contaminated by Lynas’ waste discharges. Several industries may be affected with adverse economic consequences. This is not the deal we have worked for!” added Mr Tan
Ever since the outrage showed by the public over the approval granted by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) to Lynas in late January, a series or organised state-sanctioned deceptions, half-truths and even lies have been widely circulated to confuse the public in a last ditch desperate effort by the Government to try to justify a raw deal and a poor decision making process. A fact sheet of rebuttals of some of the misleading claims is attached for reference.
“Words are cheap. Pollution affects everyone. We call on all Malaysians from all walks of life, all ethnic backgrounds and all religious beliefs to come out in force to join us to Stop Lynas. This is the best way to protect our family, our investment and our future.” Said Ram, a Kuantan resident.
Apart from not having found a safe permanent storage facility for the radioactive waste, Lynas has yet to provide any definite and clear plan on how it will manage the massive amount of contaminated sludge from the plant. Lynas will discharge huge amounts of waste gas, waste water and solid waste once production starts. The treatment methods proposed by Lynas will not entirely remove the chemicals, heavy metals and radioactive materials.
Encik Mohd Hassan Bin Samsudin, a young father from Kuantan and a regular volunteer of SMSL reminded people,
“Jangan sekali-sekali berfikir bahawa masalah loji nadir bumi Lynas adalah isu Kuantan sahaja. Ia BUKAN. Ia adalah masalah negara. Setiap rakyat yang mempunyai akal harus bertindak, dan menghentikannya sebelum ianya bermulai mencemarkan alam sekitar, makanan, air dan udara negara kita.”
Pollution knows no state boundaries. Contaminated seafood from the east coast can be sold anywhere in Malaysia. Polluted air can be spread by the wind far and wide, especially when the monsoon wind strikes. The South China Sea is shared international water. Any serious pollution will affect other states on the east coast of Malaysia and some of our ASEAN neighbours.
“Malaysia should strive to be the pride of ASEAN, not a dumping ground for run-away polluters from industrialised countries. The first step for us to reclaim our pride and our dignity is to stand together to FIGHT Lynas.
Let us make our votes count. Let us cast our vote wisely to show that we are decent human beings as good as those living in advanced countries. We want a future we can be proud of and stand tall to share with our family and friends.
Come and Join US to Stop Lynas and Save Malaysia NOW!” Mr Tan, Ram and Hassan concluded with an appeal to the public.