Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) fully supports the statement issued by YB Wong Tack, MP for Bentong on 29 May 2019.
In his statement, Wong Tack mentioned that Andrew Goledzinowski’s, the Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia usage of the media to help Lynas get out of their earlier commitments to the Malaysian regulators on the removal on the radioactive waste as highly unethical and deplorable.
In December 2018, in a reply to Lynas workers, YB Yeoh Bee Yin, Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC), said that Lynas Corporation Ltd., Australia (Lynas Australia) and Lynas Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (Lynas Malaysia) had twice (through 2 letters in February and March 2012) undertaken to remove Lynas Advanced Materials Plan (LAMP) residue from Malaysia (https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/456020). Today, Lynas is backtracking from their own commitments and undertaking.
Further, Lynas, during its application to operate in Malaysia, did not mention the Basel Convention and the difficulties in exporting the wastes; hence there was NO full disclosure of information for the Malaysian authorities to assess. Only now in its Environmental Impact Assessment: Proposal Onsite Secure Landfill (Prescribed Premises) for the storage of NUF Solids Within the Existing LAMP Site has it cited the Basel Convention to support its claim that scheduled waste cannot be exported. Obviously, Lynas was never honest right from the very beginning on the issue of waste disposal.
Hence, we support Wong Tack’s statement in saying that the Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia should advise Lynas to honour its commitment that they made twice to the Malaysian government in 2012 instead of making up excuses for them.
The Malaysian government has the sovereign right to enact laws, standards, rules and conditions to protect her citizens, the environment, and the economy, now and in the future.
Malaysia can also use the conditions as its implementation of the internationally-accepted Precautionary approach. Echoing what the Malaysian Prime Minister and the MESTECC Minister have said previously, Lynas should remove all their radioactive waste by the deadline given by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board, i.e. by 2 September 2019.
SAM urges both MESTECC and the government to not allow Lynas to operate in Malaysia until and unless they ship out all their waste to the country of origin. Our country should not be a dumping ground for hazardous and toxic wastes!