Thursday 16 June 2011

Don't hush up radioactive contamination, gov't told

Opposition parliamentarians lashed out at the government today for not being forthcoming with information regarding a radiation leak in a pharmaceutical company in Subang, Selangor.

Yesterday, AFP quoted Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Maximus Ongkili as saying the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) ordered the company to stop operations and sealed its premises after four of its employees set off radiation monitors.

NONEThe contamination was detected by AELB through a Radiation Portal Monitor (RPM) system on June 2 when the four went to the AELB office.

“Why did the government withhold information on this radiation leak for almost two weeks?” said R Sivarasa (PKR-Subang) (left), as the ministry had only revealed the information yesterday.

“By not being transparent about this event, the BN government is showing its disdain for the health and safety of Malaysians especially the people of Selangor,” he said.

Maximus had said that the radiations levels detected exceeded more than 400 times the normal reading, and this, said Sivarasa has “jeopardised health and safety” of the people as the information was kept “hushed”.

'Is this how Lynas will be dealt with?'

Fuziah Salleh (PKR-Kuantan), who was also at the media conference at the Parliament lobby, said human error happens, but the government should have taken proactive measures by making the incident public.

pkr supreme council meeting 0404010 fuziah salleh“The rakyat can take the decision to stay away from that place and take safety precautions,” she said.

Relating to the “negligence with information” Fuziah (right) pondered on how the government will tackle problems, if any, with the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (Lamp) project.

Lamp, which is located in the Gebeng industrial park in Pahang, will process raw material sourced from Mount Weld in Western Australia.

“I demand that Maximus immediately release full information including the location of the factory involved. He should also disclose the type of radiation involved and all relevant facts,” said Sivarasa.

“This is absolutely necessary to allay the fears of the general public, of all Malaysians especially in Selangor. The disclosure is also necessary to prevent unhealthy speculation by the public,” he added.

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