Nationwide green movement is born: 20000 send strong message to Lynas, Sarawak dam-builders


Lynas’ rare earth refinery is not wanted; neither are Sarawak’s mega dams – that’s the message that 20000 Malaysians sent out when they marched to Dataran Merdeka yesterday.

With East Malaysians protesting against mega dams in Sarawak joining in, the march was the first show of strength from a blossoming nationwide environmental movement.

No arrests were reported yesterday and one observer suggests that this indicates the general election is very close, as the parties in power would be reluctant to antagonise Malaysians with heavy-handed action with polls so close.

A couple of hundred activists spent the night near Dataran and this morning at a people’s meeting, they passed several resolutions calling on the government to:

  • stop Lynas;
  • close or re-evaluate all environmentally risky projects in the country such as the Bukit Komas gold mine in Pahang, the high-tension electrical tower in Rawang and the refinery and integrated petrochemical refinery project (Rapid) in Pengerang, Johor;
  • end the land grab of Orang Asli villages.

READ MORE:  Why are vested corporate interests influencing Penang's urban planning?
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  1. Australia has not ‘banned such plants on Australian soil’ – You people are brainwashed. And Anil – it’s amusing you call yourself a journalist yet you don’t have the first clue about Lynas’ parallel processing agreements with companies outside Malaysia – you seem intent to read into transportation of ore something that even the dullest … could work out. None of you seek out definitive scientific data relating to the Lynas facility – you choose to harp on about ‘toxic’ this and ‘damaging’ that – comparing Gebeng to China… You’re utterly delusional – and if that’s how you choose to be, more fool you. The only poison the rational Word sees is that put there by your politicians…

  2. Hi everyone,

    I salute the young and old who matched under all weather conditions to Dataran Merdeka to demonstrate their absolute objection to the Lynas plant in Gebeng, Kuantan!!

    Dear Expat, if the people in Kuantan and elsewhere in Pahang and Malaysia clearly stated their objection to the Lynas Plant in Pahang, then if the Federal and Pahang State Govts are people-centric administrators, they should hold a referendum to gauge the level of objection of the people, to establish/dispel the notion that the silent majority actually support such plants in Malaysia or otherwise!

    Mr Expat, a very simple reasoning I have is my suspicion why would the Australian Govt ban such plants on Australian soil if what you claim that such plants do not pose or rather pose minimal health hazards? Is the Australian Govt and people that stupid to ban such rare earth plants on Australian soil if they are supposedly able to benefit the country and people? Before the Australian Govt concluded to ban such plants, has not the Australian Govt, with all its resources and experts available, considered all the pros and cons based on scientific studies, etc?

  3. This is a video tribute to the green warriors who walked hundred of kilometres to raise our awareness. Bravo!

  4. In the end, what is the point of having this plant? Its mainly just machines and at best a few hundred jobs. The line that destroy the credibility of the purpose of this plant is that it will have ‘spin-off’. If people can buy the rare earth, why would they move their factories here? – people who have choices, who are good at what they do don’t want to work next to them. Even China failed to move high-tech firms to relocate to China (NOT next to rare earth plant)..

    There is NO plant of this kind in all the world that does not have problems- which is why its all in China..Even if there can be or will be, its not a reason good enough.

    In the end, when you look at the whole picture, whatever the reason the CHOICE IS FOR THE PEOPLE TO MAKE and THEY HAVE SPOKEN….

  5. this lynas scandal. to top it all, a 12-year tax holiday was given to a toxic processing company which nobody wants. not even from the country where the raw material originates.
    follow the money trail, it will lead you to the answers why the BN government is adamant with green-light for Lynas.
    last time in another scandal, a young monoglian woman was bombed to smithereens with C4. where’s the beef for this. again, follow the money trail and the answers will be there.
    see the connect?

  6. You do not need Taipei for these. Many Kelantanese cross Sungai Golok, walla! land to test you keimanan..

    It is easy to keep our keimanan with religious policing/enforcement. Many matured principled and religious leaders fail when locked in empty room with stack of contracts or sex temptation.

    PAS can help to a point to nurture keimanan control, beyond that, one has to grow and mature religiously.

    Some even say, too much dependent of religious control/policing, made one not prepared for such tests in Taipei or north of sungai golok. They equal this to kids, if you don’t allow spaces for growth, how to expect independent?, apparently, some agrees, other don’t.

  7. Lets talk fact…

    1) Last thing to read is the Star, it is owned by political party – MCA.

    2) If you can’t explain, the logic and motivations to transfer RE ores all the way from Australia to Gebeng? those not-all-understood scientific data/reasoning became secondary.

    3) We are M’sian, we know our government the authorities too well, we know their transparency and accountability level, you can gauge them by the yearly auditor general report.

    It is easy to argue the likelihood/probability is low with all counter-measures and enforcement. If this takes lot of ‘disciplines’ of our enforcers, that is too much a risk to take. The severity is what we worried most other than probability.

    What is the point of economy value, jobs creation but risk our people with potential long term health tragedy?

  8. expat,

    Mahatir will love you till death. Malaysian DOE said Asia Rare Earth was safe. So, too Mahatir and those that oppose him eventually ended up under ISA.
    If it is so safe and lucrative, Australia must be idiots to let it go. Afterall, the raw materials. are from Down Under. Has anything changed since 1980s when profits are concerned? You think Aussies are so saintly to let profits stay at end of queue and locals interest ahead?
    At least, 20,000 refused to be cowed.
    oh Gelakan, its only 200. Rest of numbers is imaginary.

  9. Anil,

    It is so obvious that there is a ‘very good reason’ for the morons from Umno to allow the Lynas plant to operate in Malaysia when simple logic would have them asked, why is the operators do not want the plant to be in Australia ? Surely someone must get enormous benefits from this plus the resistance and silence from the authority so far thus far.
    This is the kind of government we have in Malaysia and the only way to impede this kind of attitude from the morons from unilaterally
    doing what they like is to vote them out of the watch tower in the coming GE enough is enough, better still, have them indicted for all the … abuses the past and present morons have done !

  10. Until now, the propaganda was that this was safe (So trust us) and essential (So don’t be NIMBY). Now, leading economist Jeffrey Sachs has taken the trouble to voice his concerns. So, I am realy worried.



    By: Melinda Mazhar

    Allegations vs Facts:

    Lynas takes advantage of weaknesses in Malaysian law by proposing China standard. Malaysia’s law on radiological safety and health is AT PAR if not STRICTER THAN any of those used internationally. Lynas has never proposed the used of any China’s standard.
    Australian law restricts construction of such plant within 35km radius of residential area. There is no such Australian law or even other international law on this. The nearest town to Mt. Weld, Laverton just HAPPENS TO BE 35km away. The distance is not a requirement.
    Lynas brought in lanthanide concentrate without license. Lynas DID NOT and HAS NEVER brought in any lanthanide concentrate into Malaysia. The logistical trial run carried out by Lynas used an empty container instead.
    Lynas came to Malaysia to avoid strict Australian rules. Malaysia regulatory requirements IS EQUAL TO or STRICTER THAN that of Australia’s. But, Malaysia is chosen for its:- conducive and competitive investment climate
    – optimum resources.
    Lynas was chased out from Terengganu due to environmental reasons. Lynas WAS NEVER chased out of Terengganu. But, Gebeng has the required port facilities, reliable support facilities and technically competent work force.
    Lynas is a nuclear plant. Lynas is NOT a nuclear plant but a simple chemical processing plant operating at atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature. Therefore, there will be no fire or explosion that will cause radioactive dispersion and contamination into the environment.
    Lynas is the same as the controversial Asian Rare Earth (ARE) plant. ARE uses monazite as raw material and Lynas DO NOT use monazite. Lynas’s raw material radioactivity is 37 times LESS than ARE. Lynas residue is 60 time LESS radioactive than ARE.
    Environment will be polluted because the plant is located in a swampy land with shallow water table. Lynas original site is about 2 m above the water table. The site has been prepared by replacing with 1.4 m local fill making the site 3.4 M. above water table. The RSF is built on top (not excavated) of the new site. The base of the temporary storage facility is 0.75 M. thick making the base now 4.15 M ABOVE WATER TABLE. The wall of the storage facility is 9 m high.
    Radioactive Exposure Prevention measures taken by Lynas:
    – Thorium is not soluble in water and thus can be precipitated and separated out.
    – HDPE liner will prevent leaching
    – Clay (layer below HDPE) has very low permeability to water and that will further prevent any possible leaching.
    – Thorium has strong affinity (stick strongly) for clay, thereby further reducing leaching.
    – An under liner leak detection system (ULLDS) monitors and detects any possible leak.
    Lynas will cause radioactive rain from the gas released by the stack. In a worst case scenario, the Radiological Impact Assessment estimated that stack release may only contribute 0.002mSv/year to the public which is 500 TIMES LESS THAN THE MAX. PERMISSABLE DOSE LIMIT set by the AELB (1 mSv/year)
    The plant uses a lot of acid that can contaminate the soil. All process areas are built on BUNDED CONTAINMENT CONCRETE structure. Any acid spill will be contained in the bund and WILL NOT come into contact with the ground.
    Lynas did not carry out study on internal radiation exposure. Lynas carries out RIA in accordance to all regulatory requirements and IAEA standards. RIA is an assessment of total dose and risks to critical targets (eg. workers and public) calculated based on all possible exposure pathways. This means that both external and internal exposures were already considered.
    Lynas operation will induce cancer and caused deformed newborns. Statistic from Ministry of Health 2007 shows that cancer prevalence is 720 cases per million. BEFORE LYNAS the, estimated fatal cancer from background radiation at Lynas site is 35 cases per million. With Lynas in operation, based on the 0.002 mSv/y, the estimated fatal cancer is 0.1 case per million.
    Radon and Thoron can travel thousands of miles and cause health problems. Radon and Thoron are radioactive gases with VERY SHORT HALF LIVES AND WILL NOT TRAVEL FAR. Once formed, these radionuclides will immediately transform into solid and cannot travel at significant distances from its base.The dose rate at Lynas outside fence:
    Radon – 0.00002 mSv/year
    Thoron – 0.002 mSv/year
    No level of radioactivity is safe. Radiation is all around us. Some areas in Perak, Selangor and Langkawi have higher than the average Malaysia’s level of radiation but posed no hazardous consequences. Radiation is also used in the medical field and it is perfectly safe.

    SURE – You call it a ‘greenwash’ – how irresponsible… Politics is your agenda – not ecology or the rakyat’s best interests… Keep spinning your false rhetoric buddy – and be happy with your choices… Do yourself a favour – you’re a ‘journalist’ – check out Rhodia – France is a nation that comes out onto the street at the drop of a hat – they are extremely politically motivated. You do the math. There is a big World outside your little valley of a mind Anil…

    • Yes, I call it greenwash and yes, spinning too. I know how corporate public relations works and how it is used in situations like this.

      If it is so safe, go build it in Australia. Duh!

    • Expat,
      I am a former Malaysian (now Australian). I am stationed in Vietnam where my work encompasses environmental concerns. The were applications to set up such rare earth refineries but were declined by the Vietnamese government. I just do not understand why the Malaysian government stooped so low as to push through this project when even a country like Vietnam do not want. Even at the expense of losing votes in the imminent elections. Is it how they practise their “people first” policy ?, or is it because somebody in power has (vested interests), therefore are commited to Lynas and must use the … courts to push through the project by hook or crook ? Although I am Australian now, I hate to see my country of birth and her citizens that include my relatives and friends been subjected to very unjust treatments. By the way I also despise uncivilised people like you resorting to degratory name-calling in a debate.

  12. Why are you so keen to know when ore was shipped? What is the point? Like I said you should know. Where I am isn’t important – in fact later this week I will be in KL, then HK, then UK then US. Aside from this I must ask that you consider for a moment why an international company would want to make a facility that could do harm? This is not the 1980’s Anil – even if you have objections that’s fine of course but as SMSL found with their appeals recently, unless any concerns are supported by reasoned logic based in science the they will always fail. Look at Rhodia in France – is anyone there sick? No. Has the environment, flora, fauna been impacted? No. This is NOT China. This is NOT the Chinese REE industry. When I see ‘Fukushima’ and ‘nuclear reactors’ in the same sentence it sets alarm bells ringing because I know that this is purposely misleading information Anil – it is – full stop. It is hijacking a green agenda by scaring the rakyat and pushing them in a direction that suits the politicos – that is my point. I have worked for years on sustainability, ecology & social issues – and what I see before me is a sham. I come from Europe – my knowledge of history there tells me that when a nation is deceived to such an extent nothing – nothing can retrieve an ideology – and that is the shame of this. There is an old saying – ‘You can fool some of the people all of the time – but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time’ – and that is why, out of 28M population, as long as this insidious politics seeks to corrupt a nation’s intelligence – I am not a supporter of BN or DAP or PR – I am an humanist please note – then the serious issues of ecological responsibility and sustainability will always remain sidelined because of that affiliation. The Green Movement is something I support, strongly, and always will – but for this to occur when Malaysia is transforming into a progressive multicultural beacon, is the real tragedy. I noted all of the ‘protesters’ clicking away on their smartphones at the assembly on Sunday – not concerned about some of the most pressing issues at all. And today you notice Wrong Track has tried to recover ground by rebuking Najib and demanding that all ‘damaging’ industries be held to account. Well, if ecology is your concern, how about the feed of cattle that end up in McDonald’s burgers, which prioritise grain instead of grass, or corn syrup for drinks concentrates, or methane emissions, or… or… or… The list is endless – but you know as well as I do that a World without clean production of rare earth is a World that does not function. This is why you should take an objective view – look at the science, not the rumour or scaremongering – and monitor the result, like we all have to in our everyday lives. It is not in the interests of anyone to have an industry that is not socially & ecologically responsible – and that, as you should already know, is the overriding factor here.

    • As I thought, you don’t live here, nowhere near the plant. ‘Love’ the long-winded greenwash rhetoric though. (Not fooling anyone.) Go try and build a similar refinery in Europe or relocate Lamp to Australia. See what they tell you.

      Easier to build in a country with poor environmental awareness/enforcement, right? But the local residents are not stupid. They can think and see for themselves. Unless you believe otherwise. (A word of advice: Don’t underestimate the intuitive wisdom of ordinary people.)

      The date of shipment is important as the Kuantan High Court only lifted the stay on Lynas’ temporary operating licence on 8 November. Unless that doesn’t matter to you.

      • It is tragically ironic that the Malaysian government go out of their way to accommodate a foreign company that will churn out toxic waste, while they treat their own citizens like dirt at Independent Square.

  13. Dear Mr. Anilnetto,

    20,000? Are you sure? 20,000 came out to march against LYNAS and those mega damns in Sarawak?

    How come Bernama only reported 2,000? Either those in Bernama cannot count or Anilnetto is exaggerating the figures? But, reading a few other newsites, they also state 20,000 turned up, so Mr. Anilnetto is credible indeed.

    Yes, election is near, very near indeed. With the latest issue of gender separation in Kelantan, perhaps engineered by UMNO sympathisers within Kelantan working in cohort with MCA? We have to thank PAS for taking immediate actions as there were reports by housewives that their husbands had strayed?

    We very well know what goes behind those saloons. Not all, but a very large numbers of girlie barber shops offer other services besides hair cuts. … Girlie barber shops is well known worldwide especially among the Chinese community to offer other services besides just the normal hair cuts. Anywhere in Asia, even in Japan and Korea, such shops are a front for sex.

    Many years ago, I was in Taipei with my colleagues, and they took me to one such barber shops, where the ladies were topless when performing the hair wash, ear digging and after that they offer you massages in closed cubicle, and you very well know what goes behind those shops?

    It is good PAS takes action fast, prevention is better than cure they say.

    And to the heroes of anti LYNAS and those warriors from Sarawak, Salam Reformasi and Selamatkan Malaysia!

  14. You cling to false information like a parasite Anil… because it’s all you have. It doesn’t matter where I’m from – but I’m not from Australia, so you’re on a ledge there buddy… And as for telling you when Lynas shipped ore – why don’t you ask your ever-so-competent friends watching Freemantle port – Oh sorry… they were all too busy playing with their smartphones weren’t they… full of Chinese REE… Get a perspective you moron – EDUCATE YOURSELF.

    • You may not be from Australia (i.e. Australian) but are you IN Australia? Of course it matters where you are. If you are living in Malaysia or near the refinery for the long-term, I don’t think you would be cheering on this plant.

      Ask the people living near Lynas what they think. Oh, I forgot, you don’t care two hoots what they think as long as you are far away from the plant.

      If you are so keen on the facts, go find out from your favourite refinery owners, when did Lynas ship the ore out of Australia.

  15. Anil – You’re an idiot. You do not acknowledge for a moment that all of the information spread by SMSL & anti-Lynas is scaremongering & false, purely for political gain… Regardless when a poster like Gerakan K raises a perfectly valid point you stick your fingers in your ears because it isn’t what you want to hear. So, HH couldn’t fill out the forms to authorise the Dataran assembly… and they obviously don’t understand science… Would you vote for that? Good luck with that.

    • And I bet you must be a Lynas fan from Australia, feeling so safe with your home far away from Malaysia to feel any long-term effects.

      If you are so concerned about proper procedure, tell us the date when Lynas shipped the rare earth concentrate from Australia. Did it comply with all legal requirements in Malaysia on that date?

      I sure wouldn’t vote for Lynas or anyone supporting Lynas.

  16. There are millions of silent Malaysians condemning the demonstration. BIKIN MALU nama Malaysia.

    Lynas is safe according to experts. The court of law already OK it. All required operating licenses already acquired. All safety checks already passed.

    What else do you want ??? Yes, just to badmouth BN at all costs via lies and provocation.

    What else ORANG KAMPUNG know about the Lynas ??? What else ORANG PAKATAN know about the Lynas ??? Nothing !!!

    BN [x] Pakatan [ ]

    p/s: I wonder why anil still keep quiet on recent pas hudud for all policy in Kota Bharu. Chinese salon also need to follow muslim rules. Pas for all ??? My foot !!! Independent blog ??? My kuku !!!

      • Hello mr. k.gerakan,
        Are you agreeing that people must look the other way when a minor leakage of radioactive waste could harm present and future generations?
        The silent majority are not those who you think supports bn, no way dear friend but the silent majority are those who are waiting for ge13 to show bn the back door.
        K. gerakan, Do you accept the contents of the intelok book for secondary schools?Are you not upset that your ancestors and the chinese and indians were referred to … with … demeaning words used …
        The least you can do to correct the illwill is to vote bn out of action come what may.
        This action will appease your ancestors who are turing restlessly in their graves .

    • I am not against rare earth. In fact I am very in favour of it. It has very vital use in today’s world and most of us benefit from it. My only problem is it being done in Malaysia. Let me ask you something. Nobody needs to be an expert in radiation or rare earth to answer this question. Why is Lynas shipping its ore all the way from Australia to Malaysia? If it can do so much good for the country and the people and the economy, why would Australia send it here. Why not do it on their own soil? Why wasn’t the plant approved in Australia? If the Aussies don’t want something which is good for their economy what does that tell you? Do you think the Aussies are stupid (even though some are). Not only that, Lynas will save a lot of money having the plant on-site instead of taking it a few thousand kilometers away and then sending it out again.

      Lastly, if the ppl of Kuantan do not feel safe with it there, why do we have to force it on them? I don’t care if they are right or wrong. If they don’t want it, don’t have it. If anything happens we won’t suffer, the big bosses won’t suffer, Australia won’t suffer. It is the people of Kuantan who will.

    • Can the Australian experts, govt, authorities be wrong. Can the 22 millions Australians be wrong. Even China which processes the most red earth has admitted that it is dangerous and is scaling down or shifting their operation else where. What about the SILENT MAJORITIES of Malaysian that says it is wrong.
      Nobody is bad mouthing the UMNO Ah Cheap Kor.

      The facts are all there and the UMNO Ah Cheap Kor with their sycophants are not listening to the people. When they don`t listen, lets get them out. Kick them out next GE..

  17. THIS should worry everyone..THIS is so independent – it means that UMNO/BN has lost Selangor/KL already even before the GE. IF the result of the GE is OTHERWISE… it can only (point to) FRAUD to the people…

    Najib is not going to reassure Selangorian or people of a peaceful GE, taking his party line and the irrresponsibility the party is today. It shows he is not even a decent person much less qualified to be PM…

    • If the rakyat not bangkit against corrupted and greedy folks, one day Mount Weld’s toxic waste will be dumped at Weld Quay !

    • While the local TV stations (shame on you 8TV, NTV7, TV3) did not show any footage of the green march, it was shown on foreign TV stations, see the youtube here:


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