Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stop Lynas

Prime Minister Najib Razak said the Government has instructed Lynas Corp to relocate its residue disposal site to a location far from its Gebeng plant and local communities. In the same breath, he also said that this did not mean the rare earth project and its residue were harmful (The Star, March 03, 2012, p 02). So tell me, Najib, what exactly did you mean?

Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai told the Sin Chew Daily this week that Lynas will have to send the waste back to Australia even though the Western Australian government has said it will not take back the residue from the ore mined from Mount Weld in the state. And the Atomic Energy Licensing Board director-general Raja Abdul Aziz had insisted that the radioactive waste will not be radioactive anymore once it has been treated.

Different responses from different people. This can only mean one thing – That the government itself is clueless on what to do with Lynas’ “radioactive waste”.

Even if there are Malaysians who are really foolish enough to believe in government propaganda that the Lynas plant has been scientifically proven to be safe, experience has told us time and again that danger lurks and risks can happen. Malaysia Boleh wad!

The Bukit Merah case is little known even elsewhere in Malaysia but it is a barometer of what can go wrong and did go wrong! The Asian Rare Earth (ARE) Company, owned by Mitsubishi Chemicals – began operations on July 11, 1982 at 7.2 km Jalan Lahat in Bukit Merah New Village – was shut down in 1992 after years of strong protests. Residents in Bukit Merah blamed the rare earth refinery for birth defects and leukemia cases in the community. Mitsubishi Chemicals is still cleaning up the place. In fact, the ongoing cleanup of this 30-year-old problem is estimated to cost a massive RM300 million at least.

For those of us still blissfully unaware of the true story of Bukit Merah – check out these photos and their accompanying narratives below:

Lai Kwan and her son, Cheah Kok Leong today.
Image credit:

Malaysians must learn from Bukit Merah. Just as the case of Lynas, ARE was also supposedly safe! It was then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad himself who maintained that Bukit Merah was safe! And now Najib is parroting the same thing for Lynas Gebeng. Please don’t allow this Government to play with fire! It is Malaysian lives that are at stake! The government has been bullshitting us all these years!

We simply cannot let the government do this the second time around! You and I may not be living in Bukit Merah or in Gebeng-Kuantan, but in the case of Bukit Merah, fellow Malaysians have suffered and in Gebeng-Kuantan, another group of Malaysians will suffer if we permit this government to be reckless. Let's stand in solidarity with them and do what is necessary to put a stop to this madness! Stop Lynas!

No comments: