Published on Wednesday April 18 2012 (AEST)
BANGI (April 18, 2012): Last updated on 18 April 2012 - 10:20am
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili (pix) will decide on an appeal by three petitioners to revoke the temporary operating licence (TOL) for the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (LAMP) as soon as possible.
Ongkili heard submissions from the three petitioners today and will study the documents tendered as well as consult with related experts and authorities.
“The minister heard and went through the 14 points they (the petitioners) raised as the basis of their appeal.
“The counsel also brought forward four information providers who gave their testimonies to support a number of issues the appellants deemed pertinent,” said a ministry press statement given to the media waiting outside Nuclear Malaysia’s headquarters here today.
The three petitioners are Ismail Abu Bakar, Tan Ah Meng and Abujavalli V Raman – all residents who claimed to be affected by the decision of Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) in approving the TOL to Lynas Corporation to operate the LAMP in Gebeng, Kuantan, Pahang.
They were represented by lawyers Datuk Bastian Vendargon, R. Sarengapani and Hon Kai Ping and a team of expert witnesses.
Ongkili and 14 of his ministry’s staff spend almost six hours listening to the petitioners’ submission, as well as four expert witnesses from the Public Consultation Assessment Committee, the Department of Environment and an academician.
However, Ongkili left without speaking to the press, leaving it to his press secretary to give a statement to the media.
Ismail, who is also “Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas” deputy chairman, said he was happy with their submission but was keeping his fingers crossed on the likely outcome of the appeal.
“His (Ongkili) body language is good but I don’t know what’s going on in his mind,” he said.
Ismail said he and the other appealants will be committed and continue the fight to halt the plant’s operation.
“We will discuss after this and may ask for a judicial review if the ministry does not revoke the TOL,” he said.
Ongkili agreed last month to hear an appeal made by Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas coalition on behalf of affected residents to review AELB’s decision to grant Lynas the TOL.
The appeal was made under Section 32 of the Atomic Energy Licensing Act.
On Feb 26, thousands of anti-Lynas protesters took part in a rally dubbed as Himpunan Hijau 2.0 to protest the rare earth processing plant, which has stoked fears of environmental pollution.
The Australian miner maintains that waste from the Gebeng plant will not be hazardous and can be easily recycled for commercial applications.
The Parliament approved a select committee on Lynas on March 20, which was boycotted by Pakatan Rakyat. The opposition coalition said the nine-man panel would be used to “whitewash” the issue.
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