KUANTAN: Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail yesterday said many experts from the atomic energy field have confirmed the operation of rare earth processing company Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd as safe.
He said many studies and assessments on the factory’s operation had been conducted, from before Lynas was allowed to operate in Gebeng here until the establishment of the Assessment Committee under the Pakatan Harapan government last year.
“In 2011, a nine-member expert team led by Dr Tero Varjoranta from Finland were selected by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to review the health and safety aspects of the facility.
“Other experts in their respective fields were from Canada, India, the Netherlands, Finland, the United Kingdom and Italy.
“In the same year, another expert, the then IAEA director Yukiya Amano (died in July 2019) also visited our country and confirmed that the Lynas operation was safe and had no negative impact on the environment,” he said in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly here.
Wan Rosdy said both experts found that the Lynas project was free from radioactive waste that could harm the people.
He also drew attention to the findings of the Lynas Operation Review Committee in December last year that there was no indication that the increase in heavy metal concentrations in groundwater was due to the Lynas operation.
On March 31, Lynas’s radiation safety general manager Prof Dr Ismail Bahari also confirmed that the radioactive waste produced by Lynas was of extremely low level.
“In fact, Lynas is not the only factory producing the waste, as the oil and gas industry and tin mining also produce radioactive waste materials.
“These are the statements made by experts who have specialist knowledge. Not like us who are laymen or just to show we are against it or seeking popularity or others,” he added.
The issue of Lynas also caught the attention of former Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, who said he was briefed by experts when he was leading the Pahang administration.
“They explained that the radiation is everywhere, just like how we use handphone or television. But this issue is being politicised.
“This is what I am worried about. Yesterday, an anti-Lynas group protested, and then there will be a counter-demonstration of a pro-Lynas group. If this is the case, we will keep on demonstrating (on this issue), he said.
In his winding-up speech, Wan Rosdy also invited all state assembly representatives to recite the Al-Fatihah for Pahang’s Paduka Ayahanda Sultan Ahmad Shah Al Musta’in Billah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar, who died at the National Heart Institute (IJN) in Kuala Lumpur on May 22.
The House adjourned sine die. – Bernama