Media statement by Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 13th February 2012:
Can we trust Liow Tiong Lai to credibly monitor the safe, secure and healthy operations of the Lynas Advance Material Plants?
Can we trust Pahang MCA chairman and Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai to credibly monitor the safe, secure and healthy operations of the Lynas Advance Material Plants(LAMP) in Kuantan when he had shown a complete lack of authority, knowledge and professionalism by first lying and denying that police had fired tear gas and water cannons into the Tung Shin Maternity Hospital during the 9 July 2011 Bersih 2.0 rally. When it was proven that the police had indeed fired tear gas and water cannons into the hospital, Liow was forced to publicly apologise.
However no action was taken against those who tried to cover up and gave a false report. Now Pahang MCA has announced a special committee headed by Liow to monitor operations of the Lynas Advance Material Plants(LAMP) which has been issued by BN Federal government with a two-year temporary operating licence (TOL).
Such issuance of TOL by Malaysia's Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) for the world largest rare earth refinery plant is a reckless act that puts the safety, health and life of the people in Kuantan at risk when the recommended international safeguards are still being disputed. The public has justifiably zero confidence in the ability of the BN not only to tell the truth but also to monitor safely and professionally.
Instead of addressing these serious issues, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai had decided to set a monitoring committee headed by him to ensure compliance and that LAMP met the conditions stipulated in the TOL. Relying on the credibility and professionalism of Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai to monitor the safety of the Lynas Advance Material Plant(LAMP) is no different from trusting Malaysian authorities to safely operate the nuclear reactor when the Kuala Terengganu stadium cannot even be built properly without the roof collapsing.
One of the five conditions was for Lynas to provide a detailed plan and location of its proposed Permanent Disposal Facility (PDF) to the AELB within 10 months of the licence issuance. In other words, the AELB and the regulators themselves did not have a clear radioactive waste disposal proposal from Lynas.
Under the TOL, Lynas would have to assume full responsibility for the residue management including returning it to the original source if necessary. But Australia had already stated that it would not accept any of the residue back into the country. So where is the residue going to be returned? Who are the experts in Pahang MCA to monitor Lynas' operation and to determine whether it is safe or not? Clearly, MCA and BN are willing to sacrifice people's health for huge profits by the company and other interested parties in allowing the Lynas Rare Earth Plant in Kuantan to commence operations.
*Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary General & MP for Bagan