Save Malaysia Stop Lynas is undaunted by the issuance of a TOL to the Australian miner.
PETALING JAYA: An anti-Lynas group has vowed to persist in its fight against the rare earth plant in Kuantan despite the Australian miner’s announcement that Putrajaya has given it a two-year temporary operating licence (TOL).
“Lynas may think that with the TOL, it can do whatever it wants,” Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) chairman Tan Bun Teet said in a statement issued today.
“We want to assure concerned Malaysians that we will do whatever it takes to stop Lynas – here in Malaysia, in Australia and in every corner of the world where Lynas hopes to conduct its business.
“This is an undertaking from SMSL.”
The approval of the TOL, which Lynas Corporation announced yesterday, came despite two pending judicial reviews sought by Kuantan residents — one regarding the Atomic Energy Licensing Board’s issuance of a TOL to Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp) and the other regarding Science Minister Maximus Ongkili’s rejection of the residents’ appeal.
Tan scoffed at Lynas’ assurance that it would ship out of Malaysia the Kuantan plant’s radioactive waste, saying there was no legal way for it to do so.
“It will be near impossible for Lynas to find a country willing to accept millions of tonnes of its waste, and besides it will cost Lynas a lot of money if it tries to do that.”
Yesterday, Lynas executive chairman Nicholas Curtis said his company would “exceed the rigorous standards incorporated into the Temporary Operating Licence by removing from Malaysia the material that is the principal cause of the community’s anxiety by engaging with export markets for the processed co-products from the Lamp.”
A Kuantan resident, Ram Ponusamy, challenged Lynas and AELB to explain how the waste would be removed from the country.
Tan flayed the government for issuing the TOL despite the pending judicial reviews.
“We are appalled by the government’s action,” he said. “The government has lost the very last little bit of credibility left and may have acted in contempt of court.”
Ram echoed Tan’s views, adding that the government had sent a “strong signal to the voters”.
“We are now witnessing a government doing everything to ruin our future when its duty of care should be to prioritise citizen’s health, our investment and our environment,” he said.