Dari Kerajaan Umno-BN…Ketulian yang disengajakan?
World Earth Day but no time for memorandum
Safe the Earth committee withdraws memorandum as ministry does not want to discuss it.
The Safe the Earth Committee, a green coalition of civil societies, withdrew their memorandum to the ministry stating that if it is not discussed it will end up in the dustbin.
Representative from the ministry was willing to accept the memorandum but did not want to discuss it.
Ten members of the committee were allowed into the lobby of the ministry to met with the secretary-general Zoal Azha. However when they asked to discuss the memorandum, he turned them down.
The Safe the Earth Committee’s memorandum was endorsed by 45 groups, including civil societies and political parties and about 70 supporters turned up at the ministry.
Jeyakumar, from Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), said they never faced such treatment before as they had always been allowed to discuss the memoradum that they were presenting.
“We do not need an answer (to our suggestions) We just wanted to explain what we were presenting. All Zoal Aziz said was ‘no room, no room’…” he said.
“If you don’t receive us into a room (to discuss the matter), there is a high chance that the memorandum would end up in the dustbin,” the PSM central committee member added.
PSM is the secretariat of Save the Earth Committee.
The organisers had earlier this week informed the ministry of their intentions to submit the memorandum.
Earlier, a group of supporters had gathered not far from the ministry’s compound, shouted slogans and pleaded for better management of the environment in conjunction with World Earth Day.
Some supporters who were dressed in different shades of green held up banners such as “Save the Earth”, “Kapitalist hisap Bumi” (Capitalists are draining Mother Earth), “Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas” and “Lynas Kills”.
The latter two refer to the Australian company Lynas Corporation Ltd who is investing in a controversial rare-earth project in Gebeng, Kuantan.
The memorandum had five demands which included calls to stop the contruction of nuclear reactors in Malaysia, to stop deforestaton without control, to stop the construction of incinerators, to establish a more efficient transportation system and to stop the rare-earth project in Gebeng.
Patutnya kaji dulu, baru buat! Kalau rakyat tak bising, ada mereka kisah? Menteri dan sekelian pentadbir nih dibayar gaji juta2 M utk berfikir dahulu sebelum buat apa2 demi kemaslahatan rakyat…kenapa pulak rakyat terpaksa buat keje2 Mente……ri dan sekeliannya nih? Elok saja bayar gaji pada rakyat yg buat keje Menteri dan pentadbir…gaji tuh sebahgiannya dari cukai2 yg dibayar oleh rakyat kpd keajaan. Dan Menteri kena telus serta-merta…sape pulak panel bebas antarabangsa nih?
An international panel of “independent experts” will be formed to carry out a conclusive study on the safety of the Lynas Advanced Material Plant in Gebeng, Pahang.
International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said today that the panel will be formed “as soon as possible”, and is expected to present its findings within one month from the date it is formed.
Until the panel tables its report, Mustapa said the government will not issue any pre-operating licence to Lynas.
Lynas will also be prohibited from importing raw material during the period, while the government will review the plant’s operations, including the on-going construction.
Mustapa, however, was unable to drop even a hint on the identities of those who will be called to the panel nor would he say who will foot the bill, despite being repeatedly pressed for details.
“What is important is that they will be international, experts and independent. These are the three key elements,” he said at a press conference at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur on the controversial project.
Mustapa dodged questions on when exactly the panel will be formed, saying instead that the parties concerned have been in discussion and that the panel could materialise in the next few days.
He pointed out that from the time the project was approved in 2008 until now, the government had been “satisfied” with Lynas’ efforts in complying with the various requirements in ensuring the safety of the plant.
“Lynas has since proceeded to build its plant at Gebeng, and all work at the site (has) been continuously monitored by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) and the Department of Environment.
“To date, both authorities have been satisfied that the company has met all health and safety requirements and the standards required them,” he said.
Mustapa stressed that despite Lynas’ full compliance with the country’s many requirements for such a project, the government decided to push for an independent panel to address the many concerns raised by the public and the media.
“Radiation and safety will form the core of the expertise, but it will also include other fields. It will be a multi-discipline panel… once the report is out the government of Malaysia and the state will decide (on whether or not to proceed),” he said.
On whether the panel’s report will be made public, Mustapa said: “I don’t see any harm in that.”
Mustapa noted that while the panel carries out its work, the government will continue to engage the public and hear out their fears and concerns over the project.
IAEA assistance sought
At a separate press conference held immediately after Mustafa’s, AELB director-general Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan said they are seeking the help of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to put together the panel, though he did not expand further on the point despite being asked repeatedly.
The ministry’s secretary-general Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria added that the government is looking at several options to fund the panel’s work, but declined to give more details.
She, however, pointed out that the public has nothing to fear as Lynas’ operations in Gebeng are effectively on hold until at least after the report is tabled.
“The plant is in the process of construction, but a building is just a building. Until the study is completed, we will not issue a pre-operational licence.
“The people are concerned about safety. As a civil servant myself I am concerned, so we must allay their fears with international experts. We have Raja Abdul Aziz who is himself an international expert, but since that is not enough (for the public) we will bring in international experts,” she said.