By Anisah Shukry
KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — Ten local residents failed today in their attempt to challenge the Atomic Energy Licensing Board’s (AELB) authority to approve a temporary operating licence (TOL) for Australian miner Lynas Corp’s controversial rare earth plant in Kuantan.
Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Rohana Yusuf said that she made the decision on the grounds that a parliamentary select committee (PSC) as well as the science, technology and innovation minister were already looking into the same issues raised by the residents.
“The Houses of Parliament are pursuing the same exercise through the PSC... they are the proper channel to look [into] and deliberate on complaints and grievances,” she ruled.
“In the face of the appeal process pending before the minister, the court cannot undermine that process. The court would render that appeal superfluous, and what is enacted by Parliament as meaningless.”
She added that should the findings of the minister differ from the court’s, this would result in “confusion and embarrassment”.
Rosana also said she disagreed with the residents’ lawyer, Tommy Thomas’s previous argument that the PSC had nothing to do with the application in court.
It would be a waste of public resources and funds if all branches of the government were in competition with one another, she said.
Thomas told reporters later that his clients would be filing an appeal.
MORE TO COME