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Malaysians voice up against Lynas

  • Even if a permanent deposit facility is to be set up after half a year, the harmful residue will still remain in Malaysia and pose immeasurable health hazards to generations of Malaysians.

Sin Chew Daily

The August 18 anti-Lynas rally organized by Save Malaysia went ahead despite not obtaining the permit from the Kuantan municipal council to use the venue.

After changing the venue three times, the rally finally went ahead smoothly at Taman Gelora in Kuantan.

The organizers took the advice of prime minister to avoid burning the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto during the rally, tearing out instead page 39 of the manifesto.

The protestors also displayed banners that included the depiction of the PH government's policy reversal in favor of Lynas at the expense of the public's health.

Some 500 people, most of whom Chinese, took part in the rally. The attendance on Sunday was a far cry from the overwhelming response prior to the 2018 general elections.

It is believed that some of those who had intended to join the rally changed their minds after learning that the police might take action against the participants.

Save Malaysia Stop Lynas chairman Tan Bun Teet said it didn't matter whether 5,000 or 50,000 people took part in the rally, as the main objective was to let Malaysians know that Save Malaysia had never changed their position on Lynas and would continue to fight tooth and nail against its operation here.

The participants urged the government to shut down the Lynas plant for the sake of the local residents' health as well as the environment.

The first anti-Lynas rally after the change of federal administration has reflected the public's displeasure with the new government for failing to materialize its promise of shutting down Lynas.

Save Malaysia Stop Lynas committee set up a website on August 8 to get members of the public to sign a petition for the rare earth plant's closure. The petition has so far seen the support of some 30,000 Malaysians. This number is expected to rise rapidly following the August 18 rally towards the ultimate goal of 100,000, in order to express the public's disapproval of the government's decision to allow Lynas' continued operation in the country.

The government announced last Thursday to renew Lynas operation license for half a year on three conditions, including identifying the location of a permanent deposit facility for water leach purification residue within six months, in order to reduce the existing temporary facility with over 580,000 tons of radioactive WLP residue.

This alone is unacceptable to those against the Lynas plant because the menace of such residue would be increased remarkably following floods and other natural disasters, severely intimidating the health of local residents.

Even if a permanent deposit facility is to be set up after half a year, the harmful residue will still remain here in Malaysia and pose immeasurable health hazards to generations of Malaysians.

It is natural for Malaysians to oppose to the retention of radioactive residue in the country before a safe waste disposal solution is sought. This is an important message Malaysians are eager to relay to the government.

 

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