Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Game of Deception

The Lynas charade continues. On Friday, Lynas Malaysia managing director Mashal Ahmad reportedly told Guang Ming Daily that Lynas' wastes could not be exported because of international laws specifically banning shipments of hazardous materials.

The situation presented a great opportunity for the BN government to revoke Lynas' temporary operating licence until the company presents its permanent disposal facility plans. But we know the BN government better – nothing will be done and nothing will change.

I was almost caught flat-footed on Monday when four cabinet ministers reiterated the government’s position that Australia's Lynas Corporation must export wastes generated by its rare earths refinery in Gebeng to fulfil its TOL conditions. I couldn’t believe it at first but I welcomed the news anyway.

The statement was issued by International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed, Science and Technology Minister Maximus Ongkili, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Douglas Unggah Embas and Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai.

And then, yesterday, in a surprise about-turn, Maximus (left) smugly told a press conference in Putrajaya that residue from the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp) operations, can be marketed in Malaysia, but with two conditions attached, i.e. it must be converted into synthetic aggregates which emit only low-level radiation, and the Australian mining company must be able to find a buyer for this.

He even had the cheek to admit that this "innovative" option was proposed by Lynas in the first place and if I read the news report correctly, it means that this has been incorporated as part of the operating licence requirements – to convert the waste into "an ordinary product that can safely be used for industrial purposes" overseas or in the country.

So the truth is out! The wastes are never going back to Australia.  Do not be surprised if a RM2 company will appear out of nowhere to buy the "converted" stuff so that it remains in this country. This farce is meant to hoodwink everybody. It is manufactured trickery and is meant to provide Lynas Malaysia a way out! The locals don’t count at all. It just goes to show that Lynas is a protected concern. A lot of money must have changed hands.

The only way left to stop Lynas is to put PR in the federal government!

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