Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lynas Chemical Spill

On Friday morning, a lorry spilled chemical liquid onto the Kuala Lumpur-Kuantan federal road at Lanchang, Pahang. The load was PrND chloride that came from four pails that had ruptured. Nine other pails were scattered on the road but they were intact. Another two remained on the vehicle.
And just to jack up the anxiety and alarm, the stuff came from the Lynas rare-earth processing plant in Gebeng. This incident has heightened and raised health and safety concerns within and outside the Lynas plant. And why not?
Men in Hazmat (hazardous materials) suits came to “neutralize” the spill.
Yet, Temerloh district police chief Abdul Aziz Salleh was reported by Malaysiakini to have said that the discharged chemical was "not that hazardous", but will cause itchiness upon contact with human skin.
"It must not get into water. If it does, then fish in the river might die, but there is no river at the place," he was supposed to have advised.
Abdul Aziz should please stick to police work. He shouldn’t talk too much. After all, common sense will tell us that if fish can die, it surely is harmful.
Meanwhile, Lynas Malaysia public relations and communications general manager Amin Abdullah stressed that the ‘products’ (i.e. chemicals) are safe and not radioactive.
However, he refused to comment on the claims that the liquid was lethal to fish. He did say: "If you said these products will cause itchiness on human skin, then somebody who is sensitive will also feel itchy after they eat prawns"! Huh?
All I know is I don’t trust what they say! Lynas is not safe!
On Tuesday, I was at Plaza Sentral in KL Sentral to attend the Allianz Toastmasters meeting. I was both grammarian and speech evaluator. A good meeting overall and I am glad to note that this club is improving a lot. Still, my score for this meeting is a 4.5 over 10 and tardiness remains an issue.
It was really great to see Jens Reisch, CEO of Allianz Malaysia at the meeting and he stayed throughout. Thumbs up to him for his 100% support of the Allianz Toastmasters Club.


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