PETALING JAYA: Environmentalist groups that came together as the Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas (SMSL) coalition have pledged continued resistance against the construction of Lynas Corporation's rare earth processing plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, despite the Australian company finally being given the government's nod to commence its operations at the site.
The Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) had on Wednesday confirmed that Lynas has been issued a two-year temporary operating licence (TOL) after fulfilling all technical and additional conditions set, including on management of wastes generated - a main area of concern for local residents who fear that it would pose health hazards due to its radioactive nature. SMSL spokesperson Tan Bun Teet said in a statement yesterday that the group will file for a legal injunction against Lynas to stop them from going into operation until all court proceedings are concluded. "SMSL is outraged that despite two impending judicial reviews at the Kuantan High Court and an appeal case for judicial review in Putrajaya, the government proceeded to issue the TOL to Lynas," said Tan.
He said local residents have lost trust in AELB whom they claimed had once failed to manage radioactive waste produced at Asian Rare Earth mine in Bukit Merah, leading to the plant being forced to shut down after it was found to negatively affect the health of residents.
The Kuantan High Court had on Aug 28 granted leave to five Kuantan residents, who were all members of SMSL, to contest the government's initial decision in January to award Lynas with a TOL.
Resource: The Sun, Page: 4
Date: Friday, 7 September 2012