Australia is 58 times bigger than Peninsular Malaysia. With a population of 21million and a government that answers to the people, Australia dare not take a bet that a Rare Earth Plant is worth its risk and investment. If Australia which is nearly 60 times bigger than Malaysia reject the setting up of a Rare Earth Plant, why would Malaysia 60 times smaller thinks it’s all right to go ahead?
The USA has closed most of its mines, and so has China. In Mongolia, vast tracts of lands thousands of square kilometres are rendered hazardous, with toxic runoffs destroying everything in their path, with high radioactivity, tainting precious water supplies and this chain reaction will continue for thousands of years.
And all this is just from one small factory which has also been closed down. It is surrounded by partly frozen red-colored 'tailing lakes' up to a square mile in size and the land is scarred with toxic runoffs from the refining process and pock-marked with craters and trenches. Larger Rare-Earth refineries sit around the banks of the world’s largest tailing lake, Baogang - seven square miles of evil-smelling toxic waste that shows the shocking extent of this industry's impact.
It is a scene that Chinese officials do not want the world to see. Several villages close to the lake have already been relocated because of pollution and security guards hired by the mining company.
And to think that Malaysia is building the world’s largest Rare Earth Plant is truly madness of the highest order.
Australia with its massive land size, could site it many thousands of miles in the centre of Australia, far away from populated areas and still be shielded should an accident happens but it will not even dream of building one in the country itself. But Peninsular Malaysia would be dead meat if the inevitable happens. And to think that it could never happen is fool hardy. The Chernoybl meltdown was not supposed to happen and neither was the Fukushima Nuclear Plant in Japan.
In the event of an accident the fallout could reach within an area of 80km radius, wiping out Kuantan, Pekan, Kemaman and most of the areas around Pahang and Terengganu. Long term the two states will be rendered useless and unliveable. It simply is illogical to site a Rare Earth Refinery so near to a large population and in such a small country.
Should there be an accident, the Peninsular will never be able to recover, and may even be sued by Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore And now that Australia with such a huge storage capacity would not allow the waste tailings to be reimported, shows Australia’s determination to wash its hands off the matter.
With Australia’s announcement that they will not accept our waste, what are we going to do? Hide it in Taman Negara, on Gunung Tahan, or drop in the sea? Or try to sell it to another unsuspecting third world country? All the profits we make will not be enough to pay for the disposal of the highly toxic waste.
Malaysia in its stride to become a global economic powerhouse, should seriously weigh the pros and cons of the project. And anyhow we put it, the cons do outweigh the pros. It would be downright silly to even think that we can outwit nature.
The Pahang MB’s threat to pull the plug on Gebeng with the loss of 20 thousand jobs, should the Rare Earth Plant be called off, is really a childish reaction and a very weak attempt to resolve the problem. And to allow 20,000 people to lose their jobs just because the people rejected this insane project, when the Rare Earth Plant should not be there in the first place, is unbelievable.
It is also preposterous that Officials from the EIA saw if fit to announce that a comprehensive EIA study was unnecessary, EIA was set up for the sole purpose of protecting the environment of the nation, and it is downright insulting of EIA to ignore the people and to side the Federal Government.
If the BN government does not take steps to settle this issue immediately, it will only cause the people to lose faith in the government. Already the Bukit Merah incident is a black mark, and our government should take steps that such an incident should never be allowed to happen again.
How can our government be fooled by this Orang Putih Foreigners who continues to insult our intelligence? When will we ever learn not to play with fire? In our relentless pursuit for the extra dollar, we continue to mess around with nature without thinking of its disastrous consequences.
Rare Earth belongs in the ground and It should never be dug up and refined in the first place. Just like nuclear fusion, it will cause a chain reaction that may one day cause the end of the world. Chernobyl and the Fukushima Reactor in Japan is a testament to that.
180 countries in the world cannot be wrong to reject such a dangerous project. There is simply no mitigation possible should an accident happen. Gebeng is also situated very near to the South China Sea and a Giant Tsunami generated from a simple earthquake cannot be discounted from its list of failsafe emergency procedures.
One day we may be the laughing stock of the world by our decision to lose a country for the sake of a Rare Earth project. The risk is just too high. And it is simply not an option.