Monday March 19, 2012
PSC study on Lynas under Parliament purview, says DPM
KUALA LUMPUR: It is not for the Government to come out with the terms of reference for the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on the Lynas rare earth plant.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the matter came under the purview of Parliament.
Opposition parties had claimed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was using the committee as a public relations tool as the PSC would not have the final say on the plant in Gebeng, Kuantan.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz had said on Saturday that the PSC would have three months to summarise their findings and suggestions.
He is expected to table a motion to form the PSC when Parliament resumes today.
Muhyiddin stressed that the PSC would look at the Lynas issue more closely by inviting trained lawmakers from both sides of the political divide to weigh the issues that would arise and discuss them before bringing these to Parliament.
“Any decision taken by the committee stems from the power and scope of Parliament, and not solely from the Government,” he said after launching the Federal Territories Umno election machinery here yesterday.
In Kuantan, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who is leading a monitoring committee on Lynas, said it would come up with more proposals for the authorities to ensure the safety of the people.
The watchdog committee was jointly formed last year by Pahang MCA, Chinese associations and chambers of commerce.
“Our committee came up with the proposals to send the residue abroad and to control pollution by recycling the waste, which have been accepted by the authorities,” he said after joining Felda Lurah Bilut settlers in a 10,000 steps-a-day health programme.
Liow welcomed the setting up of the PSC, saying the move would allow more people to give their views without further politicising the issue.
Meanwhile, Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh said the main focus of the PSC should be to study whether it (Lynas plant) ought to be there (in Gebeng).
“The people of Kuantan have already made up their minds against Lynas,” she said.
Acknowledging that the PSC could solve the problem, the PKR vice-president said the current standoff between the project’s proponents and the public would not have happened if there had been public engagement from the time it was mooted in 2007.
In George Town, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said Pakatan Rakyat would reconsider its participation in the PSC if the committee’s purpose is only to boost the people’s confidence in the project.
Lim, who is Penang Chief Minister, added that Pakatan wanted further clarification on the terms of reference on the PSC.
Meanwhile, DAP national chairman Karpal Singh suggested that the Sultan of Pahang be called to intervene in the Lynas issue.
He said Sultan Ahmad Shah should take an interest in the matter.
Lynas, an Australian mineral exploration and chemical processing company, has maintained that waste from the plant being constructed in Gebeng, 25km from Kuantan, would not be hazardous and could be recycled for commercial use.