KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 (Bernama) -- Malaysian laws and standard control
supervision are adequate to ensure the safety of activities at the rare earth
processing factory, Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd in Gebeng, Pahang.
Environment Radiology expert Prof Dr Ahmad Termizi Ramli from Universiti
Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Physic Department said placing Lynas under the
enforcement of Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) proved that Malaysia
practiced a higher standard of enforcement compared with those abroad.
"The enforcement on plants producing waste like Lynas are placed only on
local authorities in Europe, this means our standard is higher," he said.
Dr Ahmad was one of nine experts of multi-disciplines who was present during
the third session of the public hearing of the parliament select committee on
the Lynas Advance Materials Plant Project at the Parliament today.
He said by fixing the permitted maximum radiation dose level of operation
results like Lynas at one miliseivert/year (mSv) above the background dose, it
showed the interest of the people was always protected.
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Dr Ahmad said the misconception of the public about Lynas must be verified
quickly and any misleading facts explained or clarified.
As for a proposal to send the samples of toxic waste from the plant
overseas, Dr Ahmad said it was not a wise decision since thorium (waste from
rare earth mining) has vast potential for development.
"If we send the thorium abroad, we will become a laughing stock since the
product is valuable and has a high potential to be developed compared with
"This is the energy of the future...why must we send it overseas. It will
not be a wise move," he said adding that Malaysia had the expertise and ability
in terms of technology and enforcement to manage the Lynas factory.
If thorium takes off as a nuclear fuel, rare earth mining companies would
benefit greatly instead of looking for ways to safely dispose of the material.
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Meanwhile, Masterskill University College of Health Sciences Nuclear Reactor
and Radiation Safety Expert Prof Datuk Dr Proom Promwichit said the negative
perception of the enforcement body in the country was a perception without any
"I am confident that in the case of Lynas, the enforcement bodies like AELB
will be able to carry out their responsibilities diligently based on the
guidelines and procedures," he said.
During the session the committee also heard views from a Property Valuation
expert, Mohd Fauzi Ibrahim who opined that the property market around Gebeng did
not experience a drastic drop following Lynas'' operation, as claimed by the
On the other hand, property projects around the neighbouring areas in the
last five years often experienced a demand which exceeded supply and sold higher
than the market prices.
"Based on my 13 years experience in the sector, there has been no drop in
the valuation of property in and around Kuantan, including Gebeng, even after
the tsunami and nuclear leakage at the Fukushima Nuclear factory in Japan," he
At a press conference after the public hearing session, the committee
chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said all expert views would be
scrutinized and summarized for tabling at the Dewan Rakyat in the June session.
The Committee, he said was scheduled to table their findings on June 14 and
it would be debated on June 19.
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