No decision yet on Lynas petition

May 8, 2012 (Source: Sun Daily) — Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili has yet to decide on the appeal by three petitioners last month to revoke the temporary operating licence (TOL) for the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (LAMP).

In a text message to theSun, Ongkili’s press secretary Jane Ritikos said the minister is still studying the details (of the petition).

On April 17, Ongkili heard submission from the petitioners and said he would study the documents tendered and consult related experts and authorities on the matter.

The three are Ismail Abu Bakar, Tan Ah Meng and Abujavalli V Raman – all residents who claimed to be affected by the decision of the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) in approving the TOL to Lynas Corporation to operate the LAMP in Gebeng, Kuantan, Pahang.

Ongkili said he would make a decision on the petition as soon as possible.

It was reported that the AELB had in February granted Lynas Corporation Sdn Bhd a TOL to operate the rare-earth processing plant.

On Feb 26, thousands of anti-Lynas protesters took part in a rally dubbed Himpunan Hijau 2.0 to protest against the building of the plant, which has stoked fears of environmental pollution.

The Australian miner maintains that waste from the Gebeng plant will not be hazardous and can be easily recycled for commercial applications.

The Parliament approved a select committee on Lynas on March 20, which was boycotted by Pakatan Rakyat. The opposition coalition had claimed the nine-man panel would be used to “whitewash” the issue.

The appeal was made under Section 32 of the Atomic Energy Licensing Act.