Lynas staff and contractors rally to seek fairness in government’s review
OCTOBER 8, 2018
KUANTAN: A peaceful rally to show support for Lynas was held at the Petanque Arena at Pantai Balok (Balok Beach) in Kuantan on Saturday October 6, 2018.
Thousands of Lynas Malaysia staff, contractors, local community members and their families gathered for the event using the hashtags #SaveLynas and #KamiWargaKuantan (#WeAreTheKuantanPeople).
The event was organised by the workers of Lynas Malaysia to voice their concerns that their jobs may be at risk if the proposed Lynas executive review committee acts on the recently reported assertions by certain politicians (who are reported to be part of the committee) that the plant should be shutdown.
Chanting “Hidup Lynas” (Long Live Lynas), “YAB Tun Bantu Kami” (The Most Honorable Tun Please Help Us) and “Hidup Tun” (Long Live Tun), the Lynas staff also appealed to the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to give fair consideration to their plight.
Lynas Malaysia Solvent Extraction Senior Manager Khairul Suhaimi, 41, said he felt the need to call for the rally as he believed the company and its workers are being “bullied”.
“I urge the person running this review to act fairly and be transparent. We have no problem with a review into Lynas Malaysia’s operations because we abide by the rules, but we just want it to be fair,” he said at the rally.
Khairul has worked for Lynas since its commencement here and never considered the plant to be dangerous or harmful to the residents in Kuantan.
Lynas Malaysia Financial Accountant Mohd Fairuz Kasmoin, 32, called on the Government to treat Lynas like any other company or factory.
“I voted for this Pakatan Harapan government but now it has come back to bite me. I am quite disappointed,” he said.
The rally was held following media reports that some members of the Lynas executive review committee were people who have been in the forefront of the anti-Lynas campaign for the past decade.
Lynas’ stand is that it seeks a review that is fair, objective and scientific.
Lynas Malaysia operates a chemical factory which refines rare earth ores sourced from the Lynas mine at Mt Weld in Western Australia.
The United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an independent scientifically-based organisation, states that Lynas operations are “intrinsically low risk”.
Lynas Malaysia provides a safe workplace for 631 employees, 97% of whom are Malaysian. Including contractors and major suppliers, Lynas has created or contributed to the creation of thousands of jobs in the Kuantan area.