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By Keat Peng Goh

Rare earth plant not good enough for Perth or Pekan?

What another country (Australia) most certainly does not want in its own backyard, our country (Malaysia) seems so happy and so determined to have in the capital city of one of our states in the east coast of the peninsula.

A funny way to show concern for our people, if you ask me.

The federal government says it is safe.

No it isn't, says the MP for Kuantan.

Yes it is, says the MP for Pekan.

Well if it is really so safe to have the rare earth processing plant in Kuantan, my town-in-law (that is, my spouse's birth place and home town), it should be equally safe to move the plant to Pekan in the same state of Pahang, wouldn't you say?

But what is decidedly unbecoming and disingenuous is for the MP of Pekan to say, loud and clear, that one of the world's largest, if not the very largest, rare earth processing plant is safe in and for Kuantan.

Why only Kuantan, then? Correct my logic if you wish, but surely what is safe for Kuantan should be safe for Perth or Pekan, no?

Well if this is as he says it is, then the people of Kuantan would understandably want to see the MP of Pekan, who has the powers invested in him (far beyond any other member of parliament in the country) to please set up the rare earth processing plant in Pekan itself.

Or at the very least, the honourable member from Pekan should set up house in Kuantan in the vicinity of the rare earth installation and actually stay there, with all his loved ones, for all the 12 years during which Lynas, the operator of the plant, is exempted from tax, courtesy of our government.


(From a forthcoming book, Mr Goh's ‘A People's Politics').