NGO concerned over govt’s planned review of proposal

  • Metro News
  • Wednesday, 12 Aug 2020

KUANTAN: Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) has called on the government not to relax the conditions that have been imposed on the operations of Lynas Corp.

SAM president Meenakshi Raman urged Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin not to revisit or review the existing policy, saying that such a move would be against the interests of public health and environmental safety.

“Valuable public resources and time have already been spent over the years on dealing with the Lynas operations, ” said Meenakshi.

In her press statement, she appealed to the government to let the conditions currently imposed stand and not review decisions that had been taken in the public’s interest.

SAM’s call came in the wake of news that the government would review the proposal for the rare earth materials producer to continue research and development of water leach purification (WLP) residue as Condisoil for agricultural use.

Meenakshi said SAM was alarmed by the minister’s statement, which appeared to overlook the many years of reviews and controversies over Lynas’ operations and its wastes, which had eventually led to an independent expert assessment.

She said the assessment resulted in the imposition of several conditions for the renewal of Lynas’ operating licence last year, including halting further development of WLP.

“We reiterate our call to the minister to focus attention on the permanent disposal facility (PDF) site in Bukit Ketam, Pahang.

“While we appreciate the minister’s statement that the reports of all the studies will be presented to the local authorities for assessment before approval to build the PDF is issued by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board, SAM wishes to underscore that complete transparency and public participation as well as engagement in the process must be ensured, as provided for by the law, ” said Meenakshi.

She also said Lynas should not be granted further extensions of its licence to operate, pending a proper resolution of the handling of its wastes permanently.

Meanwhile, Bentong MP Wong Tack called on the government to increase the amount of security deposit of US$50mil (RM210mil) required from Lynas.

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