Fuziah: Lynas not in the clear over dangerous residue just yet
Published:  Jun 10, 2019 10:42 AM
Updated: 3:49 AM

Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd is not in the clear over producing dangerous residue just yet, according to Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh.

Fuziah said this is because groundwater contamination detection requires a "protracted, regular and technically reliable independent monitoring strategy".

"A conclusion can only be made with a high level of statistical confidence based on multiple and repeated samples taken across seasons to adjust for possible seasonal effects," she said in a statement today.

"This kind of pollution has very serious public and environmental health implications in the long run."

Fuziah was responding to Lynas claiming last week that its critics were proven wrong in saying that its Gebeng operations produced a dangerous residue.

This followed Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar saying last month that the groundwater around the Lynas plant is no longer polluted by heavy metals.

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry deputy secretary-general Nagulendran Kangayatkarasu also said the spike in heavy metal readings in the groundwater around the Gebeng plant did not originate from Lynas.

"These statements are consistent with Lynas Malaysia's own groundwater monitoring and analysis," the company insisted.

In her statement, Fuziah said Lynas has persistently denied that its operations have caused serious heavy metal contamination – even when data taken over a 12-month period from September 2015 from its own groundwater monitoring stations have shown otherwise.

“Of course, Lynas would never have admitted to the contamination, because if it does, then it will be liable for this pollution.

"As a speculative rare earth junior mining company, its future lies in its ability to mask the real problems it is facing in Malaysia," she said.

"Simply branding people who have raised concerns about its pollution and waste as activists underestimates the many experts from different fields whom I have met over the years.

"These are highly skilled educated professionals with post-graduate qualifications from various reputable universities in Malaysia and from advanced industrialised countries overseas.

"They have given their pro bono professional advice out of their sense of duty to the country and for our rakyat and because they feel that Malaysia deserves the truth and environmental justice."

Fuziah also pointed out that Lynas' waste contains naturally occurring radioactive materials (Norm), which is considered radioactive in Australia.

“Many poisons are naturally occurring also, and if any of it is released into our environment or our body, we will be poisoned. 

"The same logic can be applied to Lynas’ Norm waste," she said.