Saturday, February 25, 2012
WHERE once people depended on simple electronic appliances and gadgets to complete their task, today, life has been made much easier with the presence of devices such as smart phones, which offer a variety of applications and services at your fingertips.
One no longer has to queue up to pay a bill or undertake a banking transaction. The touch of a button or the click of a mouse from the comfort of your home will ensure that your bills are paid.
Technology has even brought us flat screen high-definition television sets to replace the huge, bulky sets of old, saving both space and electricity.
All these smart and environment-friendly applications, which have made our lives much easier, contain rare earth.
The Lynas rare earth processing plant in Gebeng, Pahang, known as Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp), is not a nuclear reactor, but a chemical processing plant.
Irresponsible parties, however, have been painting a different picture about the project and manipulating the issue, including feeding Kuantan folk with misleading information for political mileage.
Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had said while addressing delegates at the Pas Muktamar in June last year: "I like to bring your attention to the Lynas issue, which was raised by our delegates.
"The issue should be referred to our expert. We have a nuclear expert. Hulu Langat member of parliament Dr Che Rosli Che Mat holds a PhD in the nuclear field."
During an interview with a private television station recently, Che Rosli, who is a nuclear scientist said: "They are frightening the public by saying that Lynas is a nuclear plant when its function is only to process natural materials like rare earths from Mount Weld in Western Australia, which has less radiation compared with an ore mine.
"The issue was brought up by the PKR. I've kept quiet and even been given a warning by the Pas information bureau not to comment.
"I accepted it and have been silent. But this is unfair. They have been making comments in every issue of Harakah in a tone we are uncomfortable with."
When asked if Lynas is really a nuclear plant, Che Rosli said: "I am embarrassed. I am also a Pas member. So finally, I decided, as a nuclear expert, I should come forward to speak.
"Let people talk as they wish," said Che Rosli, who assured the people in Kuantan that they need not fear the presence of the plant.
On Friday, Che Rosli reiterated that the plant was safe and the project should proceed as long as the company adhered to strict safety standards and regulations to ensure that the health and safety of the residents were protected.
Che Rosli, an expert in nuclear science, graduated from a university in the United Kingdom.
The Malaysian government has attached strict conditions for Lynas to comply with to ensure the health and safety of the workers, the public and the environment.
The special conditions are: Lynas is required to submit to the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) details concerning the location, construction and management of a permanent disposal facility (PDF) that will accommodate the waste generated by the factory; the PDF proposed by Lynas shall be located in a remote area away from populated areas, and Lynas is required to give a Letter of Understanding to remove and relocate overseas all waste generated.
All the waste from the plant shall be fully treated, meeting stipulated standards prior to discharge. There will be zero discharge of untreated industrial waste water.
The gasses released from the Lynas plant shall be treated by Lynas according to international standards and monitored by the relevant authorities continuously to ensure they are safe to be released through the plant stacks.
Before the public is duped by the accusations from various people, which has been described by Che Rosli as "unscientific and not at all academic", they should heed the advice of Abdul Hadi during his speech at the Pas Muktamar.
He was quoted as saying: "You want to know about oil palm, do not ask the rubber expert."