Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Malaysiakini - Fuziah to meet Lynas boss on July 1

Regina Lee
Jun 22, 11

Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh has agreed to meet Lynas executive chairperson Nicholas Curtis on July 1 over the rare earth plant being constructed in her constituency.

ShNONEe also hit back publicly at his statements in his letter to her, and said she had chosen not to attend a public briefing in 2009 because she did not think that it was credible engagement process.

Fuziah, who said she was overseas but had sent several of her representatives, also dismissed the briefing as a public relations exercise of the part of Lynas.

“Lynas went completely silent after that briefing session, which for me goes to show that
Lynas lacked the commitment to address the concerns which were raised,” she wrote in her letter to Curtis, copies of which were sent to the media.

She also cNONEomplained to Curtis (right) about the pro-Lynas group which had disrupted the 'Save Malaysia' NGO's peaceful gathering at the Teluk Cempedak beach in Kuantan last month.

“This incident has shown and (is) indeed proof (of) how the presence of Lynas (Advanced Materials Plant) in Kuantan can actually bring about instability to the community,” said Fuziah, also the PKR vice-president

The Lynas plant is scheduled to begin producing rare earths - a material indispensable in making many high-tech products - by the end of September. However, it has run into opposition from Kuantan residents who fear radiation from the waste produced.

The RM700 million facility - which will refine raw material from Mount Weld in Western Australia - is described as "the largest of its kind" and set to provide the first new source of supply of rare earths outside China.

Rare earths such as super-magnet dysprosium and red-glowing europium are vital components in hard-drives and for computer and mobile telephone screens, while the metals are also pivotal in making laser missile systems, wind turbines and solar panels.

Report due June 30

The project has drawn criticism from environmental groups, which were "appalled" that the government had approved it after a similar plant in Bukit Merah, Perak was forced to shut down in 1992.

In the bid to overcome growing opposition, the government has set up an independent panel appointed by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to conduct a review on the radiation safety at the proposed plant.

The nine-member IAEA team is set to submit its findings to the government by June 30.

Last month, it had spent a week holding public consultation sessions and visiting the plant site in Gebeng, about 50km from Kuantan.

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