Saturday, 23 June 2012

Issue permanent licence to Lynas, gov't dared

Anti-Lynas group Himpunan Hijau has challenged the government to issue a permanent operating license to the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp) in Gebeng, Pahang, if it claims the plant is safe.

NONE“If they are so confident that Lamp is safe, why not issue a permanent operating licence? I challenge them to issue one,” said Himpunan Hijau chairperson Wong Tack (left).

“I also challenge them to disclose when Lynas materials are going to come to our shores.

“Tell us the date and time; we will be there,” he told a press conference after launching the two-day Occupy Balok-Gebeng rally in Balok beach, Pahang today.
occupy balok gebeng anti lynas 230612 2The press conference also saw Wong declaring that they will employ more drastic measures to halt the RM700 million rare earth processing plant as all peaceful resorts had been exhausted during the two-year struggle.

“My serious concern is that when the materials really touch our soil, how could we hold back our anger? I want the government to tell us, what do you want us to do? How do you want us to advice our people?” he said cynically.

The group plans to conclude the two-day rally by “occupying’ the doorsteps of the Lynas plant tomorrow, and had warned that the protesters’ emotion might be boiling when they reach the place.

Lynas a corrupted deal, claims MP

On another note, Indera Mahkota MP Azan Ismail says he suspects elements of corruption in the sealing of Lynas’ concession, adding that the country has failed to gauge any profit from the deal.

“The federal government, the state government and needless to say the people do not benefit per se from this Lynas plant, why do they still insist on continuing with the plant?” he said.

occupy balok gebeng anti lynas 230612 5“Maybe something was not done in accordance with the laws, maybe someone has received kickbacks from the deal,” he alleged.

Elaborating on the matter to Malaysiakini later, he said the PSC report has stated that only 250 jobs will be created from the Lynas plant, and many of which require skilled talents.

“The 250 jobs will be locally diversified to other states, so I believe only less than 10 percent of the Pahang people will benefit,” said the PKR leader.

Azan also quoted the report as mentioning the high quality standards at the Lynas plant, and hence downstream activities would not be easily made available to traders.

occupy balok gebeng anti lynas 230612 4He said the 12-year tax exemption issued by the federal government to Lynas also meant that no tax could be imposed on any related downstream activities.

“For 12 years, the federal government cannot collect a single sen. Why are they so adamant?” he asked.

Meanwhile, PAS Berserah assemblyperson Syed Mohamad Syed Lonik, who was at the press conference, brushed aside claims that he is a contractor of Lynas.

He said that the purported Lynas contractor is another PAS member, but this does not stop both of them from going against the controversial plant.

“It’s just like even if you are in Umno, it doesn’t mean you have to follow blindly what they say. Even if you are an American, it doesn’t mean you must love America,” he said.

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