Responding to the "National Supervisory Committee on Rare Earth Issues" initiated by the MCA, Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh has called on the party to drop its act of fooling the people.
She said the announcement on the setting up of the committee to address the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (Lamp) issues by MCA deputy president Liow Tiong Lai totally missed the real issues underlying public outcry against the rare earth plant.
"The message is 'stop Lynas' and it is clearly not 'supervise Lamp'. By setting up this 'supervisory committee', MCA is trying to show that they are the champions of the rakyat, but while doing so, they made a fool of the rakyat's intelligence and concerns regarding Lamp," Fuziah (left) said in a statement issued late last night.
The supervisory committee is a joint effort by MCA, the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Hua Zong) and other Pahang-based Chinese associations after they met on Monday.
According to Liow, who co-chairs the committee with leaders of other Chinese associations, it will collect feedback on the controversial plant from all quarters and convey it to the relevant authorities.
These include the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the National Economic Action Council.
However, Fuziah reminded Liow that opposition to Lamp was not just an issue that concerned the Chinese community.
Why the silence since approval given in 2008?
"MCA is roping in all the Chinese associations, while at the same time asking (anti-Lynas group) 'Save Malaysia! Stop Lynas' to work with them.
"This reflects a total lack of empathy to the outcry against Lamp by the Malay community living around Balok and Gebeng, spearheaded by Anti Rare Earth action body (Badar), and also by other groups such as The People's Green Coalition, Malaysia Medical Association, Bar Council, Sahabat Alam Malaysia, Consumers Association of Penang and the rest.
"Are the lives and well-being of the Chinese community more important to MCA? More so than the lives and well-being of the other communities? This reflects the typical BN chauvinistic thinking and is also a crude example of its divide-and-rule mindset," Fuziah said.
The PKR vice-president pointed out that Lynas had received approval and licence to build the plant from the BN government in early 2008, but the MCA had been silent then, despite being one of the major component parties of the ruling coalition.
"To add to that, two MCA assemblypersons from Kuantan visited the mine site at Mt Weld in Australia in the middle of 2009 and they came back to declare that Lamp in Gebeng will be safe.
"Why didn't MCA make a decision siding with the safety of the rakyat then? Why the sudden U-turn now, if not just as a political move to regain ground and support in Kuantan?" she queried.
She also questioned whether the setting up of the supervisory committee was merely a ploy to deceive the rakyat that MCA was doing something about the matter.
"Is MCA's ploy just to look good, without actually standing up for what the rakyat truly want? Will MCA ever have the guts to face up to Umno in the BN coalition and tell the government what the rakyat really want?
"Will Hua Zong also dare to speak up and tell MCA that it is not good enough to 'supervise' when the rakyat has made a decision not to accept Lamp?
"So please, MCA, be sincere to the rakyat, come clean and stop this 'wayang'. For the sake of rakyat Kuantan, don't politicise the issue. Just be honest and sincere," Fuziah added.