Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Of Pahang : Bukit Koman, Gebeng = cynide, radioactive?

Australian companies and Pahang. Both of them share common interest in Bukit Koman and Gebeng! What a small world it is makes one wonders why the sudden interest in Pahang?

One deals with the prospect of cyanide poisoning and the other being related to radioactive materials, a potent mix indeed. Yet, in their similarities, they have differences and that difference is so telling and display who are the real wakil rakyats ie Yang Berkhidmat and who is not. To recap, Bukit Koman is under the parliamentary constitution of Ng Yen Yen, the minister who once (is she still?) holds Australian PR, a step short of becoming an its citizen!

Kuantan? It is represented by one Fuziah Salleh, a PKR member. And this is the difference. Fuziah champion the issue, not for her benefit but for the benefit of Gebeng residents. The recentFukushima incident is too close for comfort and the lesson of Bukit Merah is still fresh to dismiss the possible contamination from tailings and by-products.

To be fair, Lynas too has its points and processes which contains the threat or minimise it to a manageable level. The question is - how effective is the system and how effective and will the processes be open for audit? Who will be entrusted with the job of monitoring the plant? Another government body/agency? If it is, then who will vouch that the officers will be professional in dealing with Lynas? I mean, see how our immigration handles the PATI/PADI? If all is well, we would not see the many charges levied against those immigration officers in PortKlang, do we?

My point? Officers may be bought...

My sources explained taht Lynas plant is safe. He has his reasons too. For one, Lynas' study showed that the level of radioactive from its by-products is 0.5 of what the Gebeng residents are currently receiving from solar radiation. That's comforting, sure but what happens if something goes wrong? Where are the failsave system and will it works?

Remember how this blog mentions that 1MPM6 is lallang through and through? Just because the Gebeng residents areup in arms, 1MPM6 said that a panel of foreign experts will go through Lynas plant! It may be fair for Gebeng but surely it does not paint a good picture of Malaysia, to the eyes of foreign investors! Sekali boleh, sekali tak boleh! When will 1MPM6 learn to be firm?

Honestly, I am at a loss too... My first thoughts is with Gebeng residents but Lynas should be given a fair chance to present its case. So, why not :-

  1. Give Lynas an opportunity to explain the facts technically on their plant, their operation, their fail save systems and back up plans;
  2. The NGO's, bloggers and interested parties may attend the discussion to be held at a place and time to be determined;
  3. Exchange ideas and concerns and let Lynas comes up with their explaination;
It is not the time to be hot-headed. In fact, if the residents have lost their cofidence on the government for failing to protect their interest, then it is time for the non-commital NGOs and bloggers to play their part. I think the time is still there and not too late to et to the bottom of things without politicing everything under the sky.

Why did I say so? If Lynas plant is so dangerous as painted out to be, then where are the Greenpeace or any other international activists camping outside Lynas project site?

Yes, Lynas did has its idea of "importing" a whole Australian hill to Gebeng for processing. I look it from its economic point of view. I don't epect Lynas to bare all its marketing plans and strategy to all and sundry. There is a tactical reason to it.

So, if we can get enough interested parties agree to the discussion, maybe I can start sending feelers to the other side. Interested?

Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...

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