Absurd for Australia to request Malaysia accepts toxic waste, says Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh
(KUANTAN, Malaysia (Sin Chew Daily/ANN) - Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Andrew Goledzinowski has come under fire for backing Lynas plant in Malaysia.
Two members of parliament and a non-governmental organisation criticised him for backing the Australian rare-earth plant here which they claim the operating license is due to expire end of the month. The MPs claim that the plant, approved by the previous government, is not transparent in its toxic waste management.
Two elected members of parliament from Kuantan and Bentong Fuziah Salleh and Wong Tak express regret over claim made by Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Andrew Goledzinowski that closure of rare-earth mining plant Lynas in Kuantan would affect foreign direct investment.
Both also urged the high commissioner not to ask Malaysia to accept radioactive toxic waste.
Fuziah said the waste generated by Lynas contained radioactive elements and not allowed to ship back to Australia. Rare-earth is not even allowed production in Australia but wants Malaysia to accept those toxic waste.
“Many countries are not willing to produce rare-earth. But the previous government has opened its doors for Lynas to set plant and produce here. The plant has to be clear about its waste management plan,’’ she said in an interview with Sin Chew Daily.
“They even threatened that if Lynas fails in its investment here, it would affect the confidence of other foreign investors. The high commissioner is only merely backing the rare earth company and most unreasonable wanting Malaysia to accept radioactive toxic waste,” she said.
Malaysia welcomes foreign investors to set up plant here but not to tarnish the environment. She urged operators to have corporate social responsibility and fulfil their social duty.
“The Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry has set up a parliamentary select committee on the matter and it will be having its first review on 26 Sep, she said.”
Bentong MP Wong Tack said operating license issued to Lynas expires by the end of this month. In order to pacify local residents, the Australian High Commissioner is requested to back the Lynas plant.
While urging Goledzinowski to speak with facts, he also reminds him not to threaten the locals to accept Lynas. The plant has not abided by procedure required to handle toxic waste management but insisted on locals to accept those radioactive waste.
“Till today, the plant has not announced its waste management plan such as building permanent disposal facility and how it handles waste,’’ he said.
Wong Tack is also the chairman of Himpunan Hijau (Green Assembly). He said he is unable to concur with remarks made by the Australian High Commissioner and would not compromise his stand.
Save Malaysia Stop Lynas chairman Tan Bun Teet said up till now Lynas plant is not willing to hold open dialogue with the residents by claiming that all data have been uploaded on its website for public.
He said the data published on website are written by the plant without verification by any agency and lacks credibility. It also covered up the Flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) generated six years ago which is not found on the website.
“The operating license of Lynas is expiring. Without backing from Barisan Nasional government, the plant can only look for high commissioner,’’ Tan said.