Saturday, 23 April 2011

Bar Council 22 April 2011 Press Release: Government must value health and environment as much as investment

To: President, Bar Council Malaysia

Dear President,

Thank you for taking the time to write this press release. If not for it, I would not know of the efforts by our Pahang brothers and sisters for the Lynas-rare earth issue.

I note that you suggested that “the Bar calls upon the Government to ensure that only renowned and respected experts are appointed to this panel.” I urge you, in the interest of all, to forward the name(s) that you have in mind to the government as soon as possible. They may not have in mind, or even know of, experts that you/the Bar have in mind. Can’t hurt to err on the side of caution when an issue as important as this is at hand. Just saying.

And about the 1-month time limit, “The panel should not rush to complete its responsibility within one month, if more time is required in order for it to carry out its duties scrupulously,” I wouldn’t be too concerned about it. Even the Teoh Beng Hock Royal Commission got an extension when it was deemed necessary.

Again, thanks for the press release, and chill lah. I’m sure the government knows when to be extra cautious when it concerns public safety - Bloomberg and Bernama report.

Jason Kay Kit Leon


April 23, 2011 13:31 PM

Government Won't Compromise On Projects That Jeopardise Public Safety - Najib

PEKAN, April 23 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the government will not compromise on projects that jeopardise public safety and their wellbeing.

Commenting on the project undertaken by Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Lynas Corporation from Australia, Najib said an independent panel comprising experts would carry out a study on the safety aspects and impact arising from the plant to be built.

"We have decided, firstly that we will not compromise in terms of public safety and wellbeing, we give top priority to public security and health. It's not the factor that we want the project," he told reporters after opening the general meeting of the Pahang chapter of the Malaysian Malay Contractors Association, here Saturday.

Najib said the panel would be given one month to undertake a study on the matter before preparing the report.

"The project must not jeopardise public security and health, and in line with this principle, we will set up a panel of experts made up of those who are extremely skilled in areas pertaining to the Lynas project to study all aspects within the next one month.

"They will come up with a report, and based on this report, the government will make a final decision," Najib said.

The Prime Minister hoped everyone would remain calm and let the panel carry out a detailed study.

"Let the panel of experts make its detailed study and come up with recommendations to the government.

"What should be done is based on the main principles, that public health and security must not be compromised. We will also not allow (the plant) to carry out pre-operations until a final decision is made," he said.

Yesterday, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said an independent panel would be set up as soon as possible to carry out a study on the health and security aspects arising from the setting up of the plant and it was hoped that the report would ease the concern of Kuantan residents and explain the actual situation to those who had politicised the issue.

Mustapa had said that no pre-operations licence would be issued to Lynas by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (LPTA).

The factory, costing RM700 million, which was being built in the Gebeng industrial area, Kuantan had created a controversy because it was alleged to release radiation that could endanger public health.

Several series of briefings organised by the LPTA and the state government in Kuantan recently had not given positive results.


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