The story behind Lynas Rare Earth Separating Plant in Malaysia and Mahathir's vested interests

 “So the truth is out! Besides Mahathir, we would like to know who else in the cabinet has a direct and indirect stake in this killer business. It seems that the cronies are getting away with anything, while the rest of the UMNO members are just suffering away with no work or contracts. Now we know why the govt will push this project, even if the whole Malaysia opposes it. Just like every business in Malaysia, all the ministers and cronies will grab without thinking of the people and their needs.”

 “The Mamak has proven more than once when he lends his support for any’ cause, there must be some form of vested interest. His support for LYNAS RARE EARTH PROJECT is now exposed. His eldest son has a sizable stake in it. His concern has always been the wealth of his family members. He has at no time shown any concern for the welfare or the well-being OR THE HEALTH OF the poor and the powerless. Make MONEY EVEN IF IT IS AT THE LOSS OF LIVES TO OTHERS. THE GREED FOR MORE AND MORE WEALTH AND THE INDIFFERENCE TO THE PAIN AND SUFFERING OF OTHERS IS UNBELIEVABLY SHOCKING”

About 10,000 people are expected gather at Taman Gelora inKuantan in a continued bid to protest against the RM700 million Lynas rare earth plant.
Called ‘Perhimpunan Hijau 109′ (Green Assembly 109), the protest is to mark a new beginning with “a firm resolve to achieve sustainability” on environmental issues.
Organised by Green Solidarity, a movement formed by a group of about 10 NGOs specifically for the gathering, it’s aim is to ensure a safe and secure environment for future generations.
The movement’s national steering committee member, Bang Seet Ping, said that the gathering on Sunday was a people centric effort.

“I’m just an ordinary person. I want to protect my home, my community and my children. Many share my sentiments and aspiration for a better future for their children,” she said.
“About 80 NGOs and civil society groups have expressed their support for the gathering and we hope to see about 10,000 people this Sunday,” added the mother of two.
Among the NGOs is polls reform outfit Bersih, whose chairpersonS Ambiga and other members are expected to be lend their support at the gathering.

“People living in Kuantan such as myself are living under unnecessary anxiety due to the proposed project. Many of our lawmakers are not environmentally literate.
“I hope they hear us loud and clear,” said Bang. “Environmental concerns must be a key issue that voters need to take into consideration in the next general election,” Bang added.

Empowering the voters
The Earth Charter, a universal declaration of fundamental principles for building a sustainable global society will be endorsed at Sunday’s event.
The Earth Charter is endorsed by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).
Green Solidarity said that invitations have been extended to the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Pahang Chief Minister, Adnan Yaakob, to join the gathering.

It has also sent out invitations to all parliamentarians, press and members of the public. Green Solidarity is also awaiting a reply from the authorities on a permit for gathering.
When asked why Bersih, essentially an organisation concerned with electoral reforms was supporting an environmental cause, Bersih steering committee member, Wong Chin Huat said that Bersih was concerned about empowering voters in general.

“To us, it makes sense to support such a cause as we are not only concerned with electoral reforms but we support any voter empowerment movement. This issue affects the electorate, the people have to decide and dictate their own destiny,” he said.

The Lynas plant is expected to be operational by end of this year. However, the community in Gebeng is up in arms against the project because of fears of radioactive contamination in the area surrounding the plant.

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has an ulterior motive for supporting the Lynas rare earth project, claimed an NGO. “Mahathir’s eldest son Mokhzani Mahathir, the CEO of Kencana Petroleum has a large stake in the Lynas rare earth refinery project, said the Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL).

Its spokesperson, Steven Hang, said: “Kencana Torsco Sdn Bhd is a subsidiary of Kencana Petroleum that won lucrative contracts from Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

“Kencana Torsco is involved the design, fabrication, lining, supply, installation, and commissioning of carbon steel and stainless steel tanks worth RM9.1 million for the project.”Hang made this claims based on facts obtained from Bloomberg Businessweek, a US-based business website portal.

On Wednesday, Mahathir wrote in his blog that groups opposing the rare earth processing plant in Gebeng, Kuantan had political interest in opposing the project. “The Lynas contracts are a windfall for Mokhzani since his return to the corporate world in 2007. 

Back in the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis, he was written off,” said Hang.
Hang also speculated that these lucrative contracts signaled a return of Mokhzani into the corporate world, and the timing of Mahathir’s article was intended to boost Lynas shares.
“Perhaps daddy decided it was time lend his weight to the deal to make sure Lynas is healthy enough so as boost shareholders’ confidence in their investments,” said Hang.
“It is no co-incidence that Mahathir decided to blog on Lynas to give it a leg up when its shares are tumbling by the day.”

Bank pulls out
Lynas share value plummeted by 13.67% yesterday, the steepest in two years according to FIN News Network, an Australian news agency.

Hang also revealed that HSBC bank Australian had sold off its shares in Lynas worth millions due to the negative publicity over the plant and to safeguard its (HSBC’s) reputation.

“It is hardly surprising, given the publicity generated inMalaysiaand inAustraliaover the plant,” Hang said.
The group also brushed off Mahathir’s allegations that opponents to Lynas’s plant had a political agenda.
“The only agenda the people have is for a clean and safe environment to live in,” charged Hang.
He added that like-minded people should team up and exercise their democratic to reject hazardous projects against politicians with vested interest in Lynas.

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