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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The courage and cowardice of the Lynas debacle



The Australians who have vast tracks of territories that are classified as inhospitable desert do not want to risk keeping the waste in such inaccessible remote areas. But, we in Malaysia - a very tiny nation compared in size with Australia, have found such remote land spots to store the waste? 
 
J. D. Lovrenciear 
 
Foremost, the tens of thousands of rakyat who gathered peacefully to express their disapproval of the Lynas project and convey their cares and concerns for the future health and wellness of fellow Malaysians – living and yet to be born, deserves to be recognized in positive light.
 
The ability of leadership to show credence to such mammoth gatherings will reflect the notion that the government cares.
 
But the premier’s comments in the wake of the protest which paid and profiteering publicists will vouch is the right thing to say, strikes a deeper crevice in the perceptions, impressions and fears or suspicion that people have been expressing so far.
 
People, in their anxiety are asking honest, simple questions. But instead of providing specific answers, our leaders appear to be reacting with a barrage of allegations against opposition politicians; the leaders seem to be rebutting with statements that are seemingly and suspicious of implying that the protestors are plain stupid and / or are being manipulated.
 
The questions that remain unanswered however are:
1.       If there is no cause for any concern why has Australia not allowed the operation, manufacture or processing and the storage of waste material in their own country?
2.       If the business is so real good for the economy of a country, why is Australia not keen to keep the business and let its citizens profit from it by way of job opportunities and revenue earned for the nation?
3.       How come the operator has been able to bulldoze thorough and build with such haste when the rakyat have yet to endorse their approval?
4.       Is there no correlation, comparison and link in terms of evidence of destruction as experienced in a similar project elsewhere in Malaysia?
5.       If even developed countries that are known and respected the world over for their quality control standards, implementation and monitoring capabilities have fallen victim to the effects of similar manufacturing and/or processing initiatives, what guarantee is there Malaysia will never suffer any eventualities?
6.       Are the Malaysians – the thousands of protestors, fools that they do not know what they are concerned about? Are they so foolish and gullible to be misled by anti-BN agents? 
7.       Are opposition leaders all so stupid to sell a zero-cause-for-alarm initiative into a national concern thereby risking their fifty years of hard work in building their political survival, relevance and credibility?
8.       Has money, profits and earnings become the sole denominator to decide what kind of industrial activity we import?
 
Now instead of addressing the concerns raised by the citizens, the government of the day is said to have done the following:
1.       Warning civil servants by way of advising them seemingly, from participating in the peaceful, anti-Lynas protest gathering.
2.       Getting the law enforcers to focus on the event organizers’ compliance and violation of the terms of reference (read as conditions set) in the permit granted for the gathering.
3.       And ending up with the PM’s rebuttal that the toxic waste will be disposed at a remote location away from the local community and as such the safety of citizens is guaranteed. But then the very essence of the sentiment of citizens is ‘why have this waste which is toxic in the country’.
 
Do you cry, cringe or laugh at the statements of rebuttal by the PM as reported in the media?
 
People are saying that the waste is toxic and therefore harmful to lives. The PM is saying, yes it is toxic but you do not have to worry because the toxic waste will be kept in a remote spot in the country away from you.
 
Hey wait a minute. The Australians who have vast tracks of territories that are classified as inhospitable desert do not want to risk keeping the waste in such inaccessible remote areas. But, we in Malaysia - a very tiny nation compared in size with Australia, have found such remote land spots to store the waste?
 
Can you then blame the rakyat for wanting to next have a colossal rally nationwide again to register their concerns, dislikes and disapproval to have this Lynas venture continue?   

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