Thursday, August 25, 2011

Malaysiakini - Lynas row: Fuziah unfazed by hostile PAS MP

Joseph Sipalan
Aug 25, 11

Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh remains undeterred despite being accused by a fellow Pakatan Rakyat parliamentarian of misleading the public on the dangers of the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (Lamp).

NONEContacted today, Fuziah said that the televised stinging criticism by Hulu Langat MP Che Rosli Che Mat, a nuclear scientist, did not represent his party PAS, whose Pahang branch had joined her campaign against Lynas.

"His analysis of the whole thing is very simplistic.

"He mentioned that he already measured (the radioactivity), but that is just the ore.

"This is typical of nuclear scientists who only look at the ore.

"We're talking about Lamp, which is not just the ore. It's also the processing, the whole waste management, and so on.

"I've done my research, and it wasn't a Google search. To accuse us of not knowing the difference between a nuclear facility and rare earth plant... I think it is the people saying this who don't know what they're talking about," she said.

Yesterday, TV3 ran a news piece quoting radiology safety and health expert Dr Ahmad Termizi Ramli and Che Rosli claiming that Fuziah had been misleading the public by comparing Lamp with nuclear facilities.

Che Rosli went on to accused PKR of spinning the issue for their own benefit, and that he was "ashamed" that they would resort to arguments that have no scientific or academic basis.

Overly simplistic arguments

It is rare for Pakatan leaders to openly condemn each other, particularly on media organisations which are linked the ruling coalition such as Media Prima, which owns TV3.

Fuziah has been at the forefront of a campaign against the Lynas plant in Gebeng, arguing that the rare earth ore that will be processed there would expose those within the vicinity to radioactive materials.

Meanwhile, Fuziah criticised TV3 for airing the news piece which insinuated that she had lied about the RM700 million Lynas plant, located in Gebeng a short drive north of Kuantan.

Fuziah said that the arguments postulated by the two nuclear experts in rebutting her arguments against the plant was “too simplistic” a take on a complex and multi-faceted issue.

"Using TV3 and (its environmental journalist) Karam Singh Walia is a desperate attempt by BN. The Pahang government has been going on a roadshow to say I am lying.

"This is what they are telling the public... This is all to fulfil their end objective. Lynas is a multi-million ringgit project, and the Pahang government cannot afford to let it go,” she told Malaysiakini.

Will PAS reps show up?

She will be holding a press conference in Kuantan tomorrow to rebut the news piece. Representatives from Pakatan allies PAS and DAP are expected to be present.

Fuziah was among the first few opponents of the Lynas plant. The campaign to stop the plant, which was initially scheduled to begin operation in next month, has snowballed into a grassroots-led campaign known as the Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) movement.

Opposition to the Lynas plant had led to the federal government to call for a review by the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA), which eventually said that the plant fulfils international safety requirements.

However, the government has yet to issue Lynas a pre-operation licence pending the fulfilment of 11 conditions set by the IAEA in its report, therefore delaying plans to get the plant running.

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