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Lynas: Fair dinkum, nowhere suitable in big Australia!

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lynasThe article ‘Lynas: Umno will collapse in the next general election’ by Moaz Nair in Malaysia Chronicle (Feb 5, 2012) caught my attention.

Of significance is the last paragraph:

It was also reported that the CEO of Lynas said, “The company had approvals to build its refinery in Australia and rejected that option because it couldn’t find a site that met its requirements.”

This is a ridiculous statement coming from an Australian-owned company.

Australia is more than 60 times larger than Malaysia with a vast area of arid and empty desert and yet the CEO is telling Malaysians that he could not find a ‘suitable’ place to build the refinery in his homeland.

If truth be told, the Australian government is more aware of the danger of toxic radiation and does not welcome the setting up the Lynas refinery in the country. What has been rejected by a developed world has been taken over by Malaysia – a developing country.

Also, note the following in Moaz Nair’s article:

“[Lynas’s] last rare earth refinery, operated by the Japanese company Mitsubishi Chemical was very damaging to the environment. Concerns forced the closing of all rare earth refineries in Japan because of radiation.

“Mitsubishi then moved its refining operation to Malaysia after being phased out by Japan resulting in some parts of the country now becoming one of Asia’s largest radioactive waste cleanup sites.

“A mess was created in China where toxic waste was dumped on a non-regulated basis, then it was the Mitsubishi fiasco to the local environment. The people thus cannot be assured of safety from the Lynas plant  in Gebeng, Kuantan.”

Considering the performance of the Malaysian government, I wouldn’t be surprised if big bucks were paid to politicians to approve this project.

Note: Gebeng is 173 miles from Johor Bahru and 82 miles from KL, and Malaysians (and Singaporeans) could, in future, be eating radioactive East Coast seafood and other food sourced from that region.

* The writer S.M Wong from New Zealand was born and bred in Malaysia and is still concerned with developments in the country.

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“Lynas Corporation has two major operations: a mining and concentration plant at Mount Weld, Western Australia, and a refining facility now under construction at Gebeng, 25kms away from Kuantan, Malaysia – next to an impoverished fishing village.  The facility would be the first rare earth processing plant after about 30 years to be built outside China where barely regulated factories have left vast toxic and radioactive waste sites.”

To continue reading the rest of Moaz Nair’s article, please go to the news portal here.

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