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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lynas Malaysia Health Poser

Lynas has a lot of explanation, assurance and counter-measures to do when setting up their Rare Earth Element plant in Pahang, Malaysia.

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Before the Fukushima nuclear plants were built several years ago, the Japanese authorities had also given ample assurances that they were safe and located away from populous areas.  And now we see the Japanese authorities and their nuclear experts scratching their heads over the leakages and scrambling to solve the problem. But the people’s lives are already endangered.

Dr Dominic Lau of Gerakan highlighted the negative health impact from the rare earth plant operations in Bukit Merah in 1982 where Asian Rare Earth began operating its rare earth plant along Jalan Lahat.

In 1984, environmentalist and industrial waste experts who visited the site had declared that the radiation level of the area was up to 800 times the accepted levels and it was no longer safe to stay there.

A petition was signed to protest against the operations, followed by several demonstrations and a hunger strike. In 1989, two children, aged five and 11, and a 19-year-old man were diagnosed with acute leukemia while other cases such as brain cancer and septicemia were also reported.

“We do not want history to repeat itself, why have we not learnt from the incident?” he said.

Dr Lau urged the government to not ignore the feedback from the people. It is unfair to deprive the Gebeng citizens of a safe living environment, everyone deserves a safe place and that is the purpose of having a government.

The government should not have permitted the construction of a rare earth processing plant at the cost of the public’s health and safety.

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