Press statement of Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL)
Interim suspension of the Lynas’ Temporary Operating Licence (TOL) extended
4th October, 2012
Mr Tan Bun Teet, a spokesperson for SMSL and an applicant of the judicial review said “The adjournment essentially also extended the TOL suspension. Of course, our ultimate aim is to revoke the TOL.”
On the 28th August the Kuantan High Court accepted the following two judicial applications from SMSL:
1. To revoke the temporary operating licence granted by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) on 30th January to the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) on the ground that no detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA) was done and that a fresh radiological impact assessment (RIA) and a radioactive waste management plan (RWMP) should have been submitted to AELB for approval before the TOL was granted. This application was lodged on behalf of Kuantan residents Mr Tan Bun Teet, Encik Syed Talib Syed Sulaiman and Puan Hasimah Ramli by their lead counsel Bastian Vendargon.
2. To review the decision of the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) not to revoke the Lynas temporary operating licence following an appeal by a group of Kuantan residents who together with their legal representative and experts, appeared before the MOSTI panel with evidence of risks and harm of the project earlier this year on April 17th. This application was lodged on behalf of Kuantan residents Haji Ismail Abu Bakar and Tan Ah Meng by their lawyer R.S. Pani.
The adjournment today is due to Lynas’ application to be a party as an intervener in the judicial review cases. Lynas’ latest move is a new request for the court. Normally, outsiders with an interest in the case can attend hearings and file affidavits only. The judicial review cases are concerned with citizens taking the government to court challenging its lack of consideration for the health, environmental and economic impacts of the Lynas project.
“Is Lynas interfering with our national sovereignty by trying to seek to intervene in the court case between citizens and the Government?” Asked Mr Tan
SMSL will continue to pursue these cases utilising sound professional legal service in this juncture. When and if the hearing commences expert witnesses will be called to argue the case with science and credible facts.
“Every day the TOL is suspended is another day of relief for the thousands of residents who fear the hazards and risks associated with the Lynas rare earth plant. We will continue to fight the project to protect our homeland and our future.” Concluded Mr Tan
KUALA LUMPUR |
(Reuters) - A Malaysian court kept on hold the license granted to Lynas Corp Ltd's (LYC.AX) controversial rare earth plant by delaying until October 10 a decision on whether it will consider judicial reviews to permanently block production.
The Australian company said that the Kuantan High Court's decision leaves the temporary operating license suspended until October 10, extending a one-week halt that expired on Thursday.
The rare earth plant - the biggest outside China - has been ready to fire up since early May, but the company has been embroiled in environmental and safety disputes with local residents since construction began two years ago.
The plant is considered important to breaking China's grip on the processing of rare earths, which are used in products ranging from smartphones to hybrid cars.
Activists linked to the environmental group Save Malaysia Stop Lynas, who had asked for the postponement, want the court to suspend the temporary license until two judicial review cases challenging the government's decision allowing the plant to operate are heard.
Shares in the firm fell 3.5 percent from the previous close to $0.825 at 0639 GMT, down 8 percent from where they stood before the court decision.
"We're staying optimistic," Tan Bun Teet, a spokesman for the group, told Reuters after the court decision.
"The court has set an early hearing for October 10 and it looks like they want to resolve it quickly," he added.
The group's previous attempts to stop the plant had failed.
Lynas received a temporary operating license for the long-delayed $800 million rare earth plant early in September, enabling it to start production as early as October.
Protests over possible radioactive residue have drawn thousands of people and the project has become a hot topic ahead of an election that must be held by early next year.
(Reporting By Siva Sithraputhran; Additional reporting by Maggie Lu in Sydney; Editing by Michael Urquhart)