Reply letter from MP Fuziah Salleh to Nick Curtis


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MP Fuziah Salleh's response letter to Nick Curtis accepting his invitation but has requested for a public discussion involving the media

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Reply letter from MP Fuziah Salleh to Nick Curtis

  1. 1. Mr. Nicholas Curtis AMExecutive ChairmanLynas Corporation Ltd.22nd June 2011Dear Mr. Nicholas Curtis,I thank you for your letter dated 21st June 2011. I am indeed honoured that you have chosento engage finally with me as the elected representative for the Kuantan residents.I welcome your efforts to engage in meaningful dialogues and your response to the call formore transparent engagements by the public. Before I reply to your invitation to engage in adiscussion to address my concerns, please allow me to correct a few misperceptions of meor my statements that you have put down in your letter.First and foremost I would like to correct your statement in the letter that I “chose not toattend your past public briefings in the year 2009 (organised by fox communication togetherwith PKNP & AELB) due to the fact that I think that it was not a credible engagementprocess”. That is totally untrue. As a matter of fact on that particular occasion I had actuallypre-informed the organizing committee that I was engaged with a prior commitmentoverseas but nevertheless, I had delegated the important task to my two capable assistantsand they were accompanied by Dr. Jayabalan, a public health expert from USM as well asbeing a member of SAM (Sahabat Alam Malaysia). The three of them were delegated as myrepresentatives. That particular briefing cannot be considered as a public engagementprocess as it was only targeted to the selected few ie MPs, Aduns and Head of GovernmentDepartments. The feedback which I received from my team regarding the briefing was that ithad failed to address many of the concerns raised. As for Lynas’s outreach program andbriefing to the public together with the Malaysian Nature Society in late 2008, and Lynas’sefforts at planting trees in Kuantan, Yes, I do think that it was just a PR exercise on the partof Lynas.Lynas went completely silent after that briefing session, which for me goes to show thatLynas lacked the commitments to address the concerns which were raised. Lynas had alsohalted the project by early 2010 due to financial issues but then later was back in business.For Lynas to argue that the briefing early in the year 2009 was a public engagement event istotally unsubstantiated because there were so many unresolved concerns which were notaddressed then and the situation remains till now. The presentation of a concrete wastemanagement plan is one example.With the lack of transparency and public engagement, coupled with research conducted bymy team, plus advise offered to me by specialist of public health, environmental engineers,metal scientists, environmentalist and many other experts from various other disciplines,both locally as well as from overseas, particularly from Australia itself, I am now even moreconvinced that my initial concerns were indeed real and that it is thus my duty to raise the Pejabat Ahli Parlimen Kuantan A137 Tingkat 2, Jalan Beserah, 25300 Kuantan, Pahang. Tel/Faks: 09-5137970 Emel:
  2. 2. issues further to the Parliament of Malaysia. I was also convinced further on the issue whenthe government authorities had time and again failed to make public the relevant documentsand information on the LAMP project, in particular the PEIA and RIA. It was only upon thearrival of the IAEA team end of May 2011 that the documents were made available for publicviewing, which again showed the lack of accountability and transparency by the governmentagencies in addressing an issue so pertinent to the people of Kuantan.At this juncture in time, the AELB director himself had announced that the contents of theRIA report is not satisfactory. On the claims by Lynas that RM 50 million has been paid forsome kind of deposit for research, which the DG of AELB has also refuted, certainly hasadded to the Kuantan folk’s concerns. Yesterday 21st June 2011, the President of PenangConsumer Association had issued a statement that the RIA report is full of holes.I must stress that I do not take this matter personal against any individual in theestablishment of Lynas but am merely performing my duty as a Member of Parliament inraising any disparity in terms of execution or enforcement of the legal requirement in myconstituency. I still hold on to my statement that an independent panel is indeed needed toreview the safety of the Lynas in a broad spectrum but for MITI’s decision to engage IAEA asthe experts, where it is openly known that IAEA is a promoter of nuclear industry, shall notbe defined as impartial evaluation or study. I do not have any doubts whatsoever on theircredibility in the aspect of their specialisation and expertise, but I will reiterate again that theydo not however represent many other disciplines such as Public Health and Environmentalconcerns.The Malaysian Medical Association, Malaysian BAR Council, CAP, SAM and many otherindependent groups had presented their views as well as their substantiated study on LAMPproject, but on the other hand Lynas apart from the Government Agencies had so far failedto engage, which you yourself admitted in your letter and had thus failed to contributetowards creating the public awareness and understanding on the matter. The previousrecent public briefing organised by AELB and PKNP in March 2011 has failed in addressingthe concern of the people. Furthermore the scheduled 8 briefings were stopped indefinitelyafter 2 sessions. The information provided by Lynas so far has not been in depth and hasoften contradicted other renowned and credible international research on the subject of rareearth refinery and rare earth processing. This has certainly made a mockery of the Kuantanpeople and the Kuantan people’s intelligence.I would like express my sincere heartfelt concern and sympathy with regards to the incidentthat happened to the personnel of your company. This shouldn’t have happened to anyonewho lives in Kuantan, as we have always pride ourselves in claiming that Kuantan ispeaceful and tranquillity has always been the trademark of our township. We have been thechoice of tourist destination for those who seek for a perfect getaway from their bustling citylife.The incident above had shown and are indeed proofs on how the presence of LAMP inKuantan can actually bring about instability to the community. Similar show of violence wasdisplayed during the IAEA team visit, where a Pro Lynas group had showed up in force infront of Hyatt hotel, hurling abuse, threat and racist remark, in the open eye of the police. MrAndansura, the representative of the residents from Balok, the group that calls themselvesBADAR was manhandled and his car was kicked and windscreen broken by the group of socalled Lynas Supporters. That same particular concern led another NGO, Save Malaysia,Stop Lynas! group to cancel their appointment with IAEA. I hope your personnel had lodge apolice report to save guards his security. If you do need further assistance, ourParliamentary Service Centre is always prepared to assist in terms of ensuring the report isproperly handled. Pejabat Ahli Parlimen Kuantan A137 Tingkat 2, Jalan Beserah, 25300 Kuantan, Pahang. Tel/Faks: 09-5137970 Emel:
  3. 3. For your information, the NGO groups had displayed good discipline in conducting theirrights to protest peacefully, even after being instigated by the group who claims to be LynasSupporter. Even when my team and I wanted to enter the building to present our case toIAEA, we were received with similar rowdy treatment. I hope they are not in any way linkedto your company directly, which I fear may cause more distrust within the local communitytowards your organization.Thus I support your response to the call by residents for more transparency through openengagements and process of meaningful dialogues. I therefore graciously accept yourinvitation to discuss constructively the issues that are of great concerns to my constituentsas well as to the residents of greater Kuantan.Also in the true spirit of transparency, may I suggest that the discussion between the two ofus be open to observers from amongst the stakeholders as well as the members of themedia.Since Parliament is currently in session right now, may I also suggest that the date Friday 1 stJuly as the date to be set aside for the discussion.There are other statements in your letter where you claimed that my statement regardingLynas using Chinese Standards is untrue. I assure you that I will not speak unless I haveevidence and facts. But let’s discuss the matter during our open meeting. I will come forthwith evidence to my arguments then. While it is correct for you to say that my initial concernsare those regarding the waste management plans, currently I am also adding to my list ofconcerns to include the processing and operation part of LAMP. There are also otherconcerns such as how LAMP will affect the health of the public, the damage it will do to theenvironment, how it will create a negative perception to our tourism industry, thecontamination of water sources that will destroy Kuantan’s fishing industry as well as theseafood industry for Kuantan and the whole regionI sincerely hope that on behalf of Lynas, you will agree to this proposal for an opendiscussion. I will continue to promote positive engagement within the people of Kuantan andI look forward to your amicable reply.RegardsPuan Hajah Fuziah Salleh,MP for Kuantan.Parliament of Malaysia. Pejabat Ahli Parlimen Kuantan A137 Tingkat 2, Jalan Beserah, 25300 Kuantan, Pahang. Tel/Faks: 09-5137970 Emel: