DAP to stay out of Lynas PSC

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 19, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — The DAP will abstain from participating in the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on the Lynas issue, its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said today, calling the panel a “sham”.

He charged that the PSC, expected to be proposed in Parliament tomorrow, was the Najib administration’s way of legitimising the controversial Lynas Corporation plant, which activists claim would be an environmental hazard.

“DAP will not participate in a sham PSC which serves to deliver a ‘fait accompli’ by endorsing the Lynas plant and forcing public acceptance without any due regard for safety, environmental and health concerns,” Lim said in a media statement here.

The Cabinet agreed last week for form a bipartisan PSC to look into the Lynas controversy but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak irked the project’s detractors when he said on Saturday the panel’s purpose was not to decide on the fate of the plant in Gebeng, Kuantan.

Instead, Najib had said the PSC was part of Putrajaya’s engagement process to ensure the public understood the issues at hand.

“It has to do with the process of engagement with the people and for them (the select committee) to look at all aspects of the project, especially the safety factor and any possible threats to health,” he told reporters in Ipoh.

Today, Lim said this implied the panel’s conclusion was already predetermined.

“In other words, this whole exercise is merely to help the project gain acceptance and to help the BN government convince Malaysians that there is no threat from the Lynas rare earth plant and its potentially hazardous radioactive waste,” Lim said.

Given that the PSC is unlikely to decide the fate of the Lynas plant, Lim said it would be a “complete waste of time” for DAP to participate in it.

Lim also urged other Pakatan Rakyat (PR) component parties to join DAP in abstaining from joining the PSC.

“We should not be used as tools in the BN’s bid to fool the people and to justify the setting up of the Lynas rare earth plant,” he said.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said on Saturday that the bipartisan panel would comprise nine members — four BN lawmakers, three PR MPs, one independent and with Umno minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin as chairman.

He said the panel would be tasked with getting feedback from stakeholders such as authorities and citizens groups, and deliver its findings within three months.

Thousands of anti-Lynas protestors attended an opposition-backed rally by Himpunan Hijau last month in the largest protest yet against the rare earth plant that is expected to fire up later this year.

Critics of the refinery want Putrajaya to direct the nation’s nuclear regulator to reverse its decision to approve Lynas’s temporary operating licence (TOL), which will let the Australian miner embark on a two-year trial run.

They allege that Lynas has not given enough assurances on how it will handle the low-level radioactive waste that will be produced at the refinery.

The government has been under pressure from groups to shut down the rare earth project over safety fears, but Putrajaya has stood its ground on the project that was first earmarked for Terengganu.

Lynas maintains that waste from the Gebeng plant — which will be the largest rare earth refinery in the world upon completion — will not be hazardous and can be recycled for commercial applications.

  1. #1 by monsterball on Monday, 19 March 2012 - 8:09 pm

    yea….don’t participate in anything the Govt proposes to participate.
    After ..all…so many Royal Commissioners of Inquiries..findings…going against the Govt… all ignored…no further actions.
    What more if PR participate with say 3 PR men against 7 of their own.
    Waste of time with public funds.
    Let them waste the money.
    Stay away from such useless forum….that in the end…it is actually making a fool of PR politicians to participate.

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Monday, 19 March 2012 - 9:18 pm

    Bravo! Lim Guan Eng has done the right thing.

  3. #3 by cseng on Monday, 19 March 2012 - 11:07 pm

    Just don’t play into their game.

    It is election time, stay offensive, hit them very-very hard, don’t let them come back on you.

    Better HIJAU PSC or BERSIH PSC, rather than Lynas PSC….

    They have money, you guy just got saliva..

  4. #4 by tak tahan on Monday, 19 March 2012 - 11:16 pm

    Maybe we should start transfering cintanegara’s rambutan seeds to the Gebeng plant in the hope to yield the ‘best of the best’ potential quality and quantity of its fruit kind.Sufficient enough as an anti-toxic for the lowest to the uppest toxicity level to propel the ‘ketuanan’ cintanegara aka Umno-jenis-melayu’ for eternal mortality.

  5. #5 by tak tahan on Monday, 19 March 2012 - 11:25 pm

    The last sentence should be-for the eternally ‘hidup selama-lamanya’.

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 2:11 am

    DAP’s stand is debatable. You have to think of implications/consequences of withdrawal/non participation. It will be asked why do you participate in PSC for electoral reform or why you lobby for PSC for healthcare in response to 1 Care –and yet refuse to participate in PSC for Lynas? Why is PSC for Lynas a greater sham by the BN govt than (say) PSC for electoral reform or PSC for health care? It is odd that you withdraw just because A Jib Gor said that PSC was an engagement process and would not decide on the fate of Lynas. From there you conclude that “if the PSC cannot decide on the fate of the project, then it is a complete waste of time for us to participate”. There is something wrong with this position/argument. At all times for all PSCs they have ensured that majority in committee (with friendly independent) are on ruling coalition’s side. And also in all cases of PSC the sincerity is suspect – more to sugar coat for coming election. These are all true. But the fact is PSC has other uses: it can formulate to an extent the framework of enquiry (better than RCI set by govt); it could consult stakeholders; it could interrogate bureaucrats; it could make transparent to public through its deliberations certain facts unknown. It does not mean that its findings and report to Parliament have to be unanimous and cannot admit dissenting conclusions from PR/DAP’s committee members. Ah Jib Gor is merely stating a fact that govt decides on the fate of the Lynas project and not PSC on it! You can’t use that as an argument not to participate when you promote other PSCs on electoral reform or health care that as far as their intentions of formation are no more sincere than Lynas PSC – so what’s the point that is sought to be made by withdrawal?

  7. #7 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 2:38 am

    I am just highlighting the following points for your consideration:
    • the argument that “if the PSC cannot decide on the fate of the project, then it is a complete waste of time for us to participate” is not exactly relevant because at no time does any PSC decide on the fate of any govt project. Its job is to ask right questions, report public feedback & findings to Parliament – where’s there’s public controversy and it’s a matter of public interest and importance.
    • The argument that DAP’s participation will lend legitimacy through this PSC to the sham of hoodwinking the people and to try garner acceptance for Lynas for June’s GE is valid only if it were further assumed that PR/ DAP committee members serving in such a PSC were muzzled by confidentiality or unanimous principle and cannot otherwise deliver an independent and, if necessary, a PSC’s dissenting finding to Parliament/Public. I seriously doubt that you are so muzzled by the standing orders governing such PSC.
    • Can you afford to be seen to set preconditions on why you would want to serve in certain PSCs (eg on electoral reforms or health care) and not in others like Lynas without setting a rational differentia why the first 2 PSCs are OK and Lynas not OK? If you are mooting sincerity as differentiating criteria, it is also difficult to sustain because it will be rare that they are sincere in any PSC.
    • Fact is it is up to bipartisan members of PSC to make the best of other uses of the PSC, which are to raise questions, bring out new facts that keep the truth transparent to public at least from that section of committee comprising your representatives. Whether the executive/govt heeds PSC’s findings is another issue.

  8. #8 by Winston on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 10:44 am

    PSC or not, Lynas and 1Care are done deals!
    The first step is to put UMNO/BN out of business in the coming GE.
    The next step will be to reverse all the anti-people “done deals” that have taken place over the past few decades.
    Those who enter such lopsided or anti-people deals do so at their own peril.
    Then proceed unrelentingly to recover every last sen from those who have short changed the people.
    And finally, those who partake in all the wrong doings will have to face justice just like any ordinary folks who have infringed the law.

  9. #9 by GodIsWatching on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 12:12 pm

    I’m very impressed with LGE’s precision in addressing the fait accompli notion in the PSC proposal. His ability to pick up and anchor on sound legal principles in discharging his ministerial duties and political service sets him apart as a great leader.

  10. #10 by SENGLANG on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 12:31 pm

    It was just a forgone conclusion that LYNAS is her to stay. They are so confident that as can be seen from the way they approve the project. Please remember that those Australians guys are not a stupid dumb. If they are not confident with the contract they will never spent millions on the fully completed factory.

    The state Gomen and the Putrajaya have no choice the project is all system go despite the protest. Cancellation of the licence will be costly. What ever is the end result the taxpayers and most so for those resident near Gembeng are the losers

    This project is another proof of the dictatorship and arrogance of BN governance.

  11. #11 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 1:58 pm

    If the DAP were abstaining from participating in the parliamentary select committee (PSC) for Lynas, it is strange that, according to TheMalaysianInsider’s report of 20-03-2012 under the caption of “NFCorp directors snub PAC, absent from meeting”, the PSC appears to have already sat for a 1 hour meeting with DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw saying, in his capacity as the PAC’s Deputy chairman, that NFCorp’s chairman and directors did not attend, though invited/requested, and instead sent two lawyers and the company’s administrative manager to the scheduled meeting. So DAP is taking part in the Lynas PSC anway, is it?

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