Archive for category Lynas

Lynas: Why in Malaysia, not in Australia?

— Rama Ramanathan
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 11, 2012

MARCH 11 — Previously I said that the root cause of the Lynas controversy is our ‘need’ for things that need rare earths. These things include cellphones, disk drives and television sets. I also said that China supplies over 95 per cent of the world demand for rare earths, and that the Lynas plant could supply up to 35 per cent of world demand.

I added that the attitude of the government of Malaysia toward its citizens is less like that of the government of Australia and more like that of the government of China. Much of what I said was sparked by the observation that Lynas has chosen to do something which seems rather strange to those who remember tin mining.

Malaysia was at one time teeming with tin mines. The tin was dug up, processed into high purity ingots and shipped worldwide. We didn’t ship ore. We shipped tin. Similarly, we don’t ship what we harvest from oil palms. Instead, we convert the fresh fruit and bunches into products which we sell worldwide. Malaysia is a world leader not only in growing oil palm, but also in processing oil palm and it’s effluents.

So, why is Australia — a mining nation — not processing the ore into the final product? Read the rest of this entry »


Lynas: A ticking time bomb?

By Joint Action Group for Gender Equality | March 07, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

MARCH 7 — The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) gave our support for the Himpunan Hijau 2.0 protest of February 26. We joined thousands of our fellow Malaysians in calling for an immediate cancellation of the proposed Lynas rare earth plant.

We understand that this plant would involve the production and handling of radioactive waste materials that are highly toxic and not easily disposed of. Moreover, public concerns about the plant have not been addressed nor have adequate measures been taken to ensure that the plant’s operations pose no threat to the residents of Gebeng and its surroundings.

While we are heartened to see that Malaysians are increasingly mindful of and willing to speak up on issues of public interest, we are disappointed with the government’s dismissive attitude towards the legitimate concerns of ordinary Malaysians on this issue.

If most governments around the world steadfastly refuse to build similar plants in their own countries despite the economic incentive to do so, why is Malaysia going ahead with building this plant?
Read the rest of this entry »


The Lynas flip-flop

— Sam Peh
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 03, 2012

MARCH 3 — For a government which is sure that the Lynas rare earth plant is safe, the flip-flops of the past 48 hours have been illuminating. After saying that the Lynas plant was scientifically and factually safe, Najib Razak did an about-turn and said that Lynas will be asked to store/bury the waste away from the local communities in Kuantan.

Oh let me see, where do we start? Which position should we accept as representative of the Najib administration’s stand on this investment from Australia?

The Atomic Energy Licensing Board aka official spokesman for Lynas (and a regulator which is participating in revenue share with Lynas): the waste from the rare earth plant is safe and can be stored in Gebeng.

Liow Tiong Lai, Maximus Ongkili and a couple of other ministers, obviously concerned with the political fallout rather than health concerns of residents: the waste must be shipped back to Australia. Never mind that the Green Party which keeps Julia Gilliard government in office would never allow the import of any waste.

Najib Razak: Lynas will be asked to store the waste away from Gebeng. Read the rest of this entry »


Malay courtesy under threat

— Tunku Abdul Aziz
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 03, 2012

MARCH 3 — The spectacle of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng being subjected by some Malay thugs to public harassment and humiliation on February 26 as he was leaving the anti-Lynas rally at Padang Kota in Penang caused a great deal of genuine pain to the sensibilities of men and women of goodwill in this nation.

Is this what the notion of “the new Malay” is really all about? Have they totally abandoned the natural courtesy and graciousness of their forebears? What has happened to the “adat”, or have they forgotten that too?

We may not like his politics but was that appropriate behaviour towards another human being? Lim is the head of government and must be shown all the courtesies attendant upon that position. That, in my book, is the norm of a civilised society, and anything less is unacceptable.

I attended a similar rally in Kuantan on the same day. It was a joy to see a well-behaved crowd of mainly young people from all over the country, including some from overseas, lending support to an important environmental concern without resorting to unruly and obnoxious behaviour.

The Kuantan police deserve the highest praise for their professionalism. They were there when needed, but otherwise remained in the background.

The Penang police, by comparison, were a disgrace to their uniform. They stood there, taking it all in but did absolutely nothing to stop the rowdyism that was showing all the signs of developing into violence. Read the rest of this entry »


Bina kilang Lynas di Australia sahajalah

By Aspan Alias | February 27, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

27 FEB — Kerajaan patut membatalkan niat untuk meneruskan pembangunan pemprosesan nadir bumi oleh Lynas Corp, di Gebeng, Kuantan. Pemberhentian kerja pembinaan ini sepatutnya menjadi isu yang paling besar yang perlu diselesaikan secepat mungkin. Ini merupakan fokus rakyat dan secara keseluruhannya rakyat mahukan kilang pemprosesan nadir bumi di tutup serta merta.

Kerajaan patut merasakan denyut jantung rakyat dan tidak boleh mengambil ringan terhadap isu ini semata-mata kerana kepentingan beberapa orang yang berpengaruh di negara ini atau di Pahang khususnya.

Biarlah berpuluh billion pun pendapatan yang di katakan akan diperolehi oleh negara, tolaklah operasi kilang pemprosesan nadir bumi ini. Carilah jalan atau perniagaan yang lain untuk dibina di Pahang ini bagi membangunkan negeri itu. Biarlah pembangunan sesebuah negeri itu tidak di cemari dengan bahaya pencemaran yang sangat merbahaya ini.
Read the rest of this entry »


DAP calls for PSC on Lynas plant

by Nigel Aw
Feb 26, 2012

DAP has called on the federal government to form a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to probe the safety of the RM700 million Lynas Advanced Material Plant (Lamp) in Gebeng, Kuantan.

Party vice-chief Tan Seng Giaw (right) said the federal government should do so as it had called for a PSC on electoral reforms immediately after the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 last year.

“Like the Bersih 2.0 rally, the government set up a parliamentary select committee so this should be the case (for Himpunan Hijau 2.0), a parliamentary select committee should look into Lynas,” he said.

Tan said the government must take heed of the people’s concerns and review decision to allow Lynas to operate in Malaysia, by taking into consideration of the effects caused by the now defunct Bukit Merah rare-earth refinery in Perak. Read the rest of this entry »


Lynas: Long-term public relations nightmare

— by Strategia
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 25, 2012

FEB 25 — It all began many years ago with MIDA (MITI) that reportedly lured and attracted this controversial polluting Lynas rare earth industry to Malaysian shores. Apparently, some promises have been made.

Then the fiasco began. Firstly, the fast-tracked approval of the sloppy PEIA by the DoE. The RIA was not even completed then. Secondly, only upon public outcries was the quietly approved and equally sloppy RIA was made available to the public by AELB. Note that the PEIA and RIA are not up to international best practices and standards, showing clear deficiencies. More public outcry over the poor governance and the regulatory bodies’ substandard competency. The government had to invite an international review panel from the IAEA to quell public anger over Lynas. The IAEA panel put forth a slew of recommendations for Lynas as well as for the Malaysian government’s regulatory bodies — showing up their deficiencies.

What a public relations nightmare for both Lynas and the incompetent Malaysian regulatory bodies!

Then, more fiasco. Read the rest of this entry »


Perhaps Lynas should turn back

— Tay Tian Yan
The Malaysian Insider
February 24, 2012

Feb 24 — I recently met director Tan Chui Mui. She told me she had moved her studio from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

KL is too small in the world of film-making; Beijing is somewhat larger.

Tan needs a bigger space to develop her career and fulfil her dreams.

She has won several awards in international film festivals. She is so young and there are lots of potentials she could exploit outside the country.

She does come back to her native Kuantan every now and then, not so much for making a movie, but for her hometown.

Lynas Corp plans to set up a massive rare earth refinery plant in Kuantan, and Putrajaya has issued a conditional temporary licence to the Australia-based firm. Read the rest of this entry »


Something’s rotten in Kuantan

— Sam Peh
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 23, 2012

FEB 23 — Now let me get this straight: The Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB)) need not worry what the international community or investors think about getting Lynas out of Malaysia.

It only think about Malaysians — the same chaps who pay the salaries of Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan and other civil servants. According to the director-general of Lynas, he only goes by the facts.

So do I. The facts are that AELB has given Lynas a temporary operating licence and allowed them to put up a multimillion ringgit plant without a long-term plan for the disposal of toxic waste.

No company in the WORLD has devised a foolproof storage system and to think that some company from Australia has achieved a world breakthrough in storage is a joke. And to think that they have been given a temporary operating licence. Read the rest of this entry »


Design problems, hazardous construction plague Lynas plant, reports NYT

The Malaysian Insider | June 30, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — The controversial Lynas rare earths refinery in Kuantan is plagued by environmentally hazardous construction and design problems, the New York Times has reported, citing internal memos and current and former engineers on the project.

The report published today said the issues, including moisture in humid Malaysia, could potentially affect the RM700 million Lynas Corp plant being built to challenge China’s stranglehold in the key rare earths industry.

Malaysia is due to announce today the results of an independent international review of the plant that is scheduled to open this September. The listed Lynas Corp has asked for a halt in its share trading in Australia today pending the report.
Read the rest of this entry »


We’ve made a big mistake, says Lynas boss

Malaysiakini | Jun 23, 11

Lynas boss Nicholas Curtis has conceded that his company made the mistake of failing to adequately engage the community in Kuantan over fears of radioactive waste from its controversial rare earth plant.

“We made a mistake, and it was a big mistake, of thinking that because we have met the (Malaysian) standards (of safety), that it was enough. It was not enough. Our obligation is to continue to engage the community in Kuantan.”

The Lynas chief’s mea culpa came after the emergence of stringent opposition to the plant, which is being built in Gebeng Industrial Estate, about 50km from Kuantan. The RM700 million plant will be completed by the end of September.

“I respect that emotions have (become) very high, but these are emotions, not facts,” said Curtis. The detractors of the project, he said, are “pushing emotional stories for political gains”.
Read the rest of this entry »


For anti-Lynas residents, the time for talking is over

By Shannon Teoh
June 18, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUANTAN, June 18 — After being bullied from making their stand before an international panel of experts earlier this month, residents opposed to a RM700 million rare earth plant have closed the door to the government.

Accusing the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration of making “a pathetic” show of engaging stakeholders, the Save Malaysia group spearheading the local movement against the project told The Malaysian Insider that it will focus on building public sentiment against the plant.

“The only way to get the government to act is with votes. So we will increase public pressure to indirectly force the government to act. No more direct engagement,” said chairman Tan Bun Teet. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lynas says paid Putrajaya for toxic waste cover

By Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
May 21, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — Lynas Corp has revealed it deposited money with Putrajaya as an indemnity for potentially dangerous residue that may result from processing its radioactive rare earths in its Pahang plant, which is now under review.

However, Lynas did not elaborate on the deposit. It also did not disclose the sum paid to the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) under the purview of the science, technology and innovation ministry in charge of approving and monitoring radioactive industries.

“Lynas has also agreed to place funds with the Malaysian government to ensure safe management of any remaining residues as required by the AELB,” the Australian miner told The Malaysian Insider in a statement.

But AELB’s director-general Datuk Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan denied his agency had made the deposit a requirement. Read the rest of this entry »