Kuantan MP: Lynas a threat to health of Gebeng folks

Fuziah Salleh speaks to reporters in Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 25, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Fuziah Salleh speaks to reporters in Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 25, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh today lashed out at the Lynas project in Gebeng, Kuantan, Pahang, saying it could affect the village folks living nearby.

Fuziah said currently, only after five years of operations and dumping of radioactive waste on site as well as the scheduled waste amounting to a total of 1.5 million tonnes and the groundwater beneath, the Lynas site is already being contaminated with heavy metals.

“This will have an effect on the kampong folks living around Gebeng, some of whom are still dependent on the tube wells for their daily water use. It will also pollute the waterways around Gebeng,” she said in a statement, here today.

Fuziah, who is also deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said the Lynas issue usually gets misconstrued by many people, especially with regard to waste management,  in particular with radioactive waste.

“Lynas is very good with its messaging strategy that it is easy to fall for their low-level radiation narrative. Lynas has always been silent on the long life... very long life... 14 billion years half-life of thorium in their radioactive waste.

“Unfortunately, many people in the government also do not comprehend the real pertinent waste management issue and are convinced by the Lynas narratives too that are being imparted to the public,” she said.

Meanwhile, Fuziah also said that the Kuantan parliamentary constituency welcomed any foreign direct investment (FDI) except for Lynas.

“Yes, we welcome FDI but not ones like LYNAS. We welcome FDI to the point that I am assisting them to resolve the water shortage issue that industries are facing right now.

“However, industries that pollute and think they are above the law are not welcome in Kuantan and Pahang for that matter,” she added.

On March 24, Lynas Malaysia Radiation Safety general manager Prof Ismail Bahari was reported as saying that there is no basis to claims that Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Gebeng, Kuantan could cause a similar chemical waste contamination incident as happened in Pasir Gudang, Johor. — Bernama

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