Stop Lynas, Guan Eng tells Najib

The prime minister should issue a stop-work order on the rare earth plant, says the DAP secretary-general.


(FMT) - Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should immediately stop Lynas operations and declare that the government would pay compensation of at least RM700 million to Lynas spent on construction of the plant.

DAP secretary-general and Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng also called on Najib to withdraw his remarks published by Bernama on March 17.

He said that Najib should walk his talk that his Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government would stop Lynas operations if it was scientifically proven to be harmful to public health and environment.

“The prime minister should issue a stop-work order on the rare earth plant in Gebeng, Kuantan.

“He should show the government’s willingness to pay compensation to prove his seriousness and sincerity,” Lim said.

He added that he regretted Najib’s criticism of DAP for opting out of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Lynas.

Lim clarified that the DAP and Pakatan Rakyat have opted out of the PSC, to be headed by Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin, in the interest of the public.

He said the DAP did not want to be part of BN’s attempt to delude the public into thinking the Lynas plant was safe.

“The criticism is regrettable as it is not based on facts,” the Penang chief minister said in his blog posting here today.

On March 17, Bernama quoted Najib as saying: “The PSC on the Lynas issue will not decide on the fate of the controversial rare earth plant.”

Instead, the PSC was part of the government’s engagement process to ensure the public understood the issues at hand so that “we can convince the groups who are still suspicious whether the project is safe or otherwise”.

Lim said that Najib had said that he hoped the PSC would raise awareness on the project so that “we can achieve comfort in terms of better public acceptance”.

He added that Najib’s statement proved that the PSC was clearly a BN sham to deliver a “fait accompli” to endorse the Lynas plant and force public acceptance without any regard for safety.

“The DAP and Pakatan have refused to participate in the PSC to legitimatise what is essentially wrong and against public interest.

“By saying that the PSC would not decide on the fate of Lynas, he had reduced the PSC to irrelevance,” Lim said.

He said that for Najib to change his tune now that “the PSC was a strong basis for us to make a decision” on Lynas, was a flip-flop from his remarks on March 17.

He added that the flip-flop raises questions on whether the prime minister was serious and sincere about closing down Lynas in the face of evidence of environmental damage and threats to public health and safety.

To prove his commitment and seriousness, he said Najib should publicly withdraw his March 17 remarks, issue an immediate stop-work order on Lynas and declare the BN’s government willingness to pay compensation. The prime minister should issue a stop-work order on the rare earth plant, says the DAP secretary-general.