Anti-Lynas group claims some govt agencies closed one eye to allow hazardous waste

KUANTAN: Anti-Lynas group Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas (SMSL) is alleging that some misconduct by regulators allowed the company to continue operations.

Its chairman Tan Bun Teet claimed they had evidence showing how several government agencies bent the rules to allow Lynas to keep storing its contaminated residues at the site of the factory (pic). 

"Many people, especially those from responsible industries and businesses, might have half-guessed why and how Lynas could get away with accumulating a huge amount of contaminated wastes at its refinery plant for over six years.

"No other industry or business anywhere in Malaysia could get away with so much waste left to contaminate our environment and let its hazards spread amidst claims of 'zero-harm' and compliance.

Tan said SMSL has identified numerous areas where regulators failed to prevent contamination by Lynas' radioactive and toxic substances.

He added that the group had compiled 117 pages of evidence and would submit it to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) soon.

When asked which agencies were involved, Tan claimed the evidence mainly implicated the Atomic Energy Licensing Board and the Department of Environment.

"We trusted the authorities but they did not carry out their duty. If Lynas plans to build a permanent disposal facility, can we trust the authorities to protect us?" he said at a press conference here Sunday (Dec 16).

Tan also called on politicians to fulfil their pledge to shut down Lynas.

He said SMSL had released a video showing how these politicians used the Lynas issue for their own political campaign.

In the video, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was seen saying at a rally that Lynas would be "cancelled" if they got into power.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and several others from various parties were also shown in still images signing a pledge to shut down the Lynas project.

At the press conference, Semambu assemblyman Lee Chean Chung also called on the Cabinet to accede to the people's demand on the Lynas issue.

He said to date, the Cabinet had yet to say anything even though the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry had decided to impose additional pre-conditions on Lynas' licence renewal.

"Lynas is only one foreign direct investment. We are now the government and there are many more foreign investors in our country.

"The most important thing in handling this issue is to ensure the people's health and safety are protected while preserving the dignity of Malaysians. We do not want a half-baked decision from the Cabinet," said Lee.