Finally, the Malaysian Atomic Energy Licensing Board has granted a temporary licence to the Australian rare earths plant in Gebeng, Kuantan. The Stop Lynas Coalition, through their spokesperson MP Fuziah Salleh, has swiftly announced that they will file a judicial review over the decision.
Lynas is building the plant, one of the few sites outside China, to process rare earth-metals used in high tech equipment ranging from missiles to mobile phones.
It had insisted that the facility, which will process rare earths imported from Australia, will be safe, but critics say radioactive waste could leak out, threatening the public and environment.
The AELB might as well grant a permanent license to the Australian company rather than trying to mislead the people with a politically correct term of 'temporary' license which aims to make the public think that it can still be revoked if necessary.
The license may be revoked but can the environment be returned to its original state before the radioactive waste being planted deep within its soil?
Lynas is another reflection of the failure of government's lack of economic direction. While the investment from Lynas sounds attractive, the government should have evaluate a long term net benefit for the country.
At present, it is obvious its effect on the environment but worse the mental anguish the plant inflicted on the people of Gebeng and its surrounding neighbourhood outweighs its economic benefit.
Why can't Malaysia attract world class R&D researchers and facilities to be stationed in the country? Why are we good at only attracting hazardous industries into the country?
Is this the kind of economic direction the nation wants to take?
Lynas should be a lesson to all Malaysians especially those who are too mystified with race and religion as the sole basis of their electoral decision and political preference. More than often we tend to miss the core issues over some petty issues.
Malaysians have to seat back and take a serious note of a serious issue like Lynas. The fact that the authorities have given a nod to Lynas to begin production without examining allegations such as the one made by the New York Times shows that politicians are not afraid of the people.
Malaysia can only be a better place to live in if we can inflict fear in the politicians. Ultimately, voters are largely responsible for the kind of government that we get.