By Ida Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 – Kuantan residents today failed to get leave for judicial review of the government’s decision to issue a temporary operating licence (TOL) to Lynas for its controversial rare-earth plant there.
When contacted, Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) spokesman Tan Bun Teet said the judge today rejected the application on two reasons, their lack of legal standing and the late filing of the application.
“The judge ruled that these seven people did not have the locus standi because they did not exhaust the internal avenue of applying to the minister first for hearing.
“Secondly, they said they filed the application too late,” he told The Malaysian Insider today.
According to Tan, the application was filed last December 18 by seven local residents at the Kuantan High Court against the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB), Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Lynas Malaysia and Lynas Australia.
Tan said that the residents will file an appeal on the court’s rejection of their application for leave of judicial review.
He also said they will file an application to get the judge, Datuk Mariana Yahya, to recuse herself from hearing another case set on February 5.
On February 5, the court will hear a separate judicial review application to quash the decision of the AELB and the MOSTI to grant the TOL to Lynas for its rare earth plant.
The hearing next month involves three other Kuantan residents – Tan, 64, Syed Talib Syed Sulaiman, 60, and Hasimah Ramli, 44.
Earlier this month, Lynas said it expects to produce commercial rare earth products in a few weeks’ time.
Critics have raised arguments of safety and environmental concerns in their opposition to the RM2.5 billion refinery.