Sunday, 11 November 2018

Lynas - it's all based on facts and evidence

I don't want to write too much on this one because some trolls may accuse me of spinning

So, you all can read for yourselves this latest one on the Lynas issue;

Lynas operations satisfy all

 criteria, say officials


excerpts

1. Faizal Mohd Yusof, a senior official with the international trade and industry ministry (Miti), also justified the 12-year tax exemption given to Lynas, considering its benefits to the country.


He said Lynas had fulfilled 10 factors to receive its factory licence in early 2008, including those concerning the environment.
He said other factors included its technology, positive effect on the supply chain and amount of investment.
He said the company provided jobs to locals and gave them the opportunity to expand their skills and knowledge.
2. During the Facebook Live feed, an Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) official said radioactive materials are found naturally in the environment.
He further explained that prior to giving out licences, AELB had a comprehensive mechanism to determine whether or not a chemical plant was qualified for the licence.
“The standards we have in Malaysia are not just any standards — we abide by international standards.
“On top of that, in the Lynas case, we also set up a public committee before giving them the licence in September 2012.”
3. An official from the Pahang State Environmental Department said staff conducted checks on environmental quality, as underlined in the plant’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The department found that Lynas had maintained all the standards.
In relation to concerns about heavy metal residue found in surrounding agricultural land, the official said the study looked at the heavy metal residue found in agricultural products such as palm oil and “found positive results”.
In response to the independent committee’s inquiries into the water quality as a result of chemical waste, the official said the presence of industrial sites along Sungai Balok had actually improved the water quality, due to high-technology waste treatment technology being utitlised.
“Lynas itself has a sophisticated treatment system. The volume of chemical waste has not even been an issue because it meets all limits set.”
4. An official from the health ministry said it was too early to tell if any pollution from the Lynas plant would cause any type of cancer.
5. A Department of Occupational Safety and Hazard (DOSH) official also agreed that Lynas had met all its obligations.
“They have abided by all criteria for occupational safety.”
In terms of the treatment of hazardous chemicals, it found that despite the risks, adequate safety precautions were being taken.
In terms of pollution, dust and mineral oil mist produced as by-products by the plant’s activities, the official said it was found to be at a low level.
“The chemical hazards at the facility show possible negative effects on the respiratory system and skin. However, the same situation applies to any other factory.”
So how? Satisfied or not?
They look silly to me
What? Still not satisfied?
Here, this time I'm putting in full from Dr Mahathir's own writing back in 2012.

LYNAS

1. I was the first to write in my blog about rare earth, about how difficult it was to rid ourselves from activated rare earth when it was no longer needed.
2. Rare earth can be used for many things and in many ways. The rare earth represented by tin tailing, mostly ilmenite, when activated can be used in colour television. Today colour television uses plasma or LED.
3. This posed a problem of getting rid of the activated rare earth left in Malaysia. Finally it was agreed between Mitsubishi Electric and Malaysia that a site in Perak of almost a square kilometre be reserved for burying under concrete the activated “amang”.

4. Although visitors were banned and no human habitation was allowed at the site, I am told that now there is no more danger of radiation and human dwellings have been built there.
5. The Lynas project is not about activating the rare earth to make it radioactive. It is about extraction of the element to be used in making lithium ion batteries and magnets.
6. Lithium ion batteries are extensively used to power electronic products including mobile phones.
7. We carry in our pockets and use mobile phones all the time, putting them against our ears to hear and speak over the air waves. Obviously they are not harmful. This lithium ion battery does not emit harmful radiation.
8. As I understand it, the Lynas plant in Pahang does not involve activating any of the rare earth components to make them radioactive. The process cannot be harmful. As for the waste, it does not give off harmful radiation either. The waste is just ordinary earth which is normally mixed with the small amounts of rare earth. The necessity to export the waste does not arise.
9. Malaysia is endowed with significant quantities of rare earth. In its natural state it is harmless. Tin tailings or “amang” is probably more likely to give off radio waves than rare earth. The mining and extraction of rare earth can bring much wealth to Malaysia. In fact Malaysia should be producing lithium ion batteries for use in electric and hybrid cars. Today these batteries are being produced in Germany and Britain, using rare earth from China and elsewhere.
10. Lithium ion batteries will be much in demand in the future. They are usually rechargeable and can last for many years.
11. It would be a great loss to Malaysia if misguided people prevent us from extracting and using the high clean electrical capacities of rare earth. Just as the lithium ion batteries in the cellular phones is not harmful even when we carry them everywhere in our pockets and put them to our ears, the mining and extracting of rare earth from Malaysian earth will not harm us in any way.


Don't argue with Dr Mahathir, okay. He's almost always right. If Lynas still loses the case after all these facts and evidence had been presented, then I don't know what else to say.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Reminders from Daim and Dr Mahathir

I think a lot of people are getting fed up.

That's why the other day,

Daim asks Pakatan to stop blame game


excerpts;

“Six months is enough. Now the government needs to concentrate on delivering. People know what happened and that’s why they voted the previous government out. So it’s important for them not to repeat similar leadership (mistakes),”

But of course people like Guan Eng will continue with it such as in this instance yesterday when he said,

Rating agencies will not

 lower Malaysia's credit rating


excerpts;

“I believe that they are aware of the government’s efforts to overcome the fiscal problem left by the previous government."

Well, I did expect that and I still do.

After all, what else that Guan Eng could offer other than that.

The same with the Pakatan (expecially DAP) trolls who come to this blog.

Really, that's all they have.

I expected it right after GE14 where I wrote about

Remember the PH mantra


They will continue with it till at least the next general election.

Anyway, what do you think of this news?

Malay ministers reminded

 by Mahathir of history


Why do you think Dr Mahathir has to remind the likes of Mujahid and Syed Saddiq of who Malays are?

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Lynas - it's turning into a McGregor-Khabib fight

The struggle over Lynas is really becoming like that McGregor-Khabib fight.

Click on this link if you don't know what I'm talking about,

UFC 229

For starters, one side was trash talking while the other tried to keep calm.


You know la all the accusations they threw at Lynas.

Same like McGregor insulting Khabib and calling him names before their fight.

All the while Khabib kept his cool and said things will be settled in the octagon.

The victor would be the one with the better punches, kicks, grappling techniques and wrestling prowess.

Just like Lynas, things should be by right decided based on facts and evidence.

Not by all the bullshit meant to rile sentiments as what happened over the issue.

Then there's the UFC with its boss Dana White who was clearly siding with McGreagor.

They did everything possible to ensure a McGreagor's victory, including letting the notorious Irishman went crazy to promote the fight.

The UFC didn't seem to care even if innocent people get hurt as what happened when McGreagor and his crew attacked the bus Khabib was on in Brooklyn.

Same like when they tried to impose that crazy Fuziah Salleh and dubious Wong Tack on the Lynas review committee.

At that time they didn't seem to care about being fair even to the Lynas employees, who are 97 per cent Malaysians.

They didn't seem to care if those people lose their job and face hardship to support their families.

Now, with the Lynas public hearing just days away, they seemed to be doing it again.

In my previous post about Lynas,

About Lynas public hearing and

 self-proclaimed environmentalist


 I wrote that,

excerpts;

Public hearing of Lynas review

 on November 11


The venue however have been shifted from Universiti Malaysia Pahang in Gambang to Gambang Resort City.

Hopefully many people will turn up to hear what's really going on by listening to both sides of the story.

Those who wish to do so, please fill up the form at this link;
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeWmKkEHEwqM4N4db9H7HGf9J6Roe5wdPu3wrEK6B6_bnz0Vw/viewform
This will close at midnight Nov 9 (Friday).


Well, I was told yesterday that the venue has been shifted yet again.

Now it's going to be at the Sri Manja Boutique Hotel in Indra Mahkota.

I do wonder why they are doing this.

Why are they making it difficult for the public to attend the hearing?

I wonder why don't they just have a very open public hearing.

Let's say at the Sultan Ahmad Shah Convention Centre in downtown Kuantan where thousands could attend.

No need to fill in forms and such to be there.

Hey, after all, they said Kuantan folks are scared stiff of Lynas what. Surely they would come in droves.

Ya, why they need to do all that to make sure less people attend the supposedly public hearing?

Are they afraid the anti-Lynas people would be exposed as bullshitting all these while.

Just like that McGregor guy la. Ends up that all his trash talk was just bullshit.

I don't know lah, maybe their strategy will work.

Less people at the hearing, the easier they can kick the Lynas people around.

Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they were just being clumsy about arranging the hearing thus all the changes and bureaucracy. Maybe they will be fair.

For now Lynas, its workers and their dependants could only pray for the best.

Workers of Lynas Malaysia saying thanksgiving at the vicinity of the Kuantan High Court on Nov 17 2012, after the court rejected an injunction application to stop the company's operations.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

DAP should have defended Wan Hamidi

I sincerely felt sorry for Wan Hamidi when I read this,

I was initially offered Bernama 

CEO post, now it's not happening


This is the full Facebook post by Wan Hamidi that led to the story;



After being a target of lies, unfair condemnations and personal attacks for quite some time, I have been informed that I would NOT be appointed as the Bernama CEO. This is despite being initially offered, persuaded and convinced to accept this job at the national news agency.

My apologies but I won’t be replying to any queries. So please don’t waste your time trying to message me or call me about this. Now is not the time, sorry.

If you’re really want to know, perhaps you should you ask the Bernama Board or the Cabinet Minister(s), or those people and racial groups including some media and news portals that hate DAP. Perhaps they know more.

For those who didn’t know me (including those who had vilified me) let me share with you this info - I have 30 years’ experience in journalism and communications. I have worked with Berita Harian, The Star, The Sun, Straits Times Singapore, New Straits Times, and The Malaysian Insider, as well as DAP’s Rocket Publications.

I also had a stint with the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur as its media relations advisor.  The last position I held was Deputy Director for Research for Social Advancement (REFSA), a progressive think tank.

I actually believe in free press and freedom of expression, although we know that in the Malaysian context, it's easier said than done. But we must never give up.

Despite not being active in the mainstream media in recent years, I continue to write as columnist for news portals Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insight. I have also written and edited some books.

For those who're wondering, I actually believe in free press and freedom of expression, although we know that in the Malaysian context, it's easier said than done. But we must never give up. We must keep on moving. So there.

Happy Deepavali and Salam Perjuangan!

WAN HAMIDI HAMID

I think it took quite a bit of effort for Wan Hamidi to write that FB post.

After all, the guy, as I know him, is rather quiet and unassuming despite his friendly demeanour.

It's a bit out of character that he pour out his feeling like that.

I guess the pressure was quite tremendous for him to bear.

For me, it's particularly unfair to Wan Hamidi because the story of him becoming the Bernama CEO had been going around for almost two months.

Why was he offered the job in the first place and by who?

It's highly likely because DAP wanted to reward him for his services to the party and that it's probably Gobind himself, as Information Minister who made the offer.

If so, I actually have no problem with it because it's only right that DAP, now in power, rewards him with such a post.

After all, I know that the guy had gone all out for his party. Wan Hamidi is a true DAP idealist, who really believes in the cause.

I don't know exactly how much DAP paid him as the editor of Rocket, but I'm quite sure it's not much.

He's driving a rather old looking Proton Saga, okay.

So, really, I'm okay with him being the Bernama CEO and earn a bit more money.

After all, it's by right a post not related to Bernama's editorial policies.

Even if it does, I do believe him when he wrote this;

I actually believe in free press and freedom of expression, although we know that in the Malaysian context, it's easier said than done. But we must never give up.

Knowing him, I think Wan Hamidi would try to keep Bernama free from political interference the same way I believe others would try to do as I highlighted in this previous post,


I know, he's a DAP operative, but I think he still have the idealism to do the right thing, especially when it comes to journalism.

Well, for one thing, I'm quite sure that Wan Hamidi is better when it comes to journalism than those who attacked him such as former information minister Rais Yatim who is now a Pribumi Bersatu strongman.

Yes, I still remember Rais' crackdown on bloggers when he was the minister. Their homes were raided and laptops seized.

And before you all start commenting on this, bear in mind that what happened to Wan Hamidi has nothing to do with Umno/BN.

Some of them did make noises about it but they have no power to stop Wan Hamidi's appointment, okay.

The ones who have the power to decide on this matter are Pakatan people.

It's them who played out Wan Hamidi.

Again, Gobind is the Information Minister who have control over Bernama. He's also probably the one who offered Wan Hamidi the CEO job.

How come Gobind didn't stand up for Wan Hamidi when the guy came under attack over the appointment?

If I'm Wan Hamidi, I would be angry at Gobind and the rest of DAP leadership for not backing me up.

How come they let the likes of Rais Yatim influenced the decision making process?

Yes, DAP leaders should have defended the decision to appoint Wan Hamidi as Bernama CEO.

But they didn't.

It makes me wonder whether DAP really appreciate people like Wan Hamidi.

Really, if I'm a DAP leader, I would appreciate the guy.

Well, it's all just too bad for him.

Idealists always get the lousy end of the stick.

Even in DAP.

Monday, 5 November 2018

About Lynas public hearing and self-proclaimed environmentalist

I asked a friend in Kuantan last Friday whether he knew about the Lynas public hearing this weekend and he said he didn't know.

That's a surprise to me because my friend should have known about such things due to his job.

He said he will check with Lynas people to conform it.

Guess not many knew about it after all, so here's the link again,

Public hearing of Lynas review on November 11


The venue however have been shifted from Universiti Malaysia Pahang in Gambang to Gambang Resort City.

Hopefully many people will turn up to hear what's really going on by listening to both sides of the story.

Those who wish to do so, please fill up the form at this link;
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeWmKkEHEwqM4N4db9H7HGf9J6Roe5wdPu3wrEK6B6_bnz0Vw/viewform
This will close at midnight Nov 9 (Friday).

Ya lah, most of the time we tend to listen to only one side and draw our own conclusions from it.

So, the public hearing, if carried out in a proper manner will let all sides to express their views based on facts and evidence instead of just sentiments.

Yes, facts and evidence. That's the most important thing.

The more people there, the better.

That would help prevent more one-sided bullshit.

The public need to know that one does not have to be a self-proclaimed environmentalist to be at the public hearing.

Really, everyone has the right to be there.

Furthermore, claiming oneself an environmentalist is not such a big deal.

Anyone can do that.

Sometimes, the status of a self-proclaimed environmentalist can be quite questionable, such as highlighted in this The Star article;

Wong Tack's green credentials questioned 


Thursday, 25 Apr 2013
BENTONG: DAP candidate Wong Tack, who has made a name for the anti-Lynas campaign, has come under attack over his environment credentials following revelations over the Internet that he owns large tracts of land which has been used for oil palm cultivation, a sector which is frowned upon by environment groups.
A popular portal, stopthelies.my, has also claimed that Wong is a Canadian permanent resident (PR).
Wong, a Pakatan Rakyat candidate, is challenging MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai for the Bentong parliamentary seat.
Uploading documents of Wong's company, Marvellous Resources Sdn Bhd, to prove his involvement in the palm oil business, the pro-Barisan Nasional blog hit out at him for misleading Malaysians by projecting himself as someone who fights for environment issues.
It claimed that the Environment Protection Agency once even “warned Wong's company for its unplanned and over-cultivation of oil palm trees”, adding that he should be rejected by the voters.
Wong admitted that he was involved in palm oil cultivation, saying he had never hid the fact. He added that his family had owned more than 1,000 acres of land for the past 20 years.
Defending his involvement, he claimed that “unlike many plantations, not a single drop of weedicide is used on the plantation. We use organic fertiliser and enzyme to reduce chemical fertiliser to a minimum level to carry out soil preservation and prevent river pollution.”
Wong hit out at the portal, describing the allegations as “blatant lies”, adding that if he had any wrongdoings, they would have surfaced much earlier.
On the Canadian PR allegation, he admitted that he had held the country's PR when he ran a consultancy firm, which specialised in environmental impact assessment in Canada, but it had been cancelled.
“I did not return there after I came back to Malaysia in 1996. In Canada, if you do not return there for five years and do not pay tax, the PR will be cancelled,” he said, adding that he had always held on to his Malaysian citizenship.
A palm oil plantation owner, meanwhile, asked if Wong's plantation was recognised by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), adding that it was not viable to run such a huge place by using the so-called “organic friendly fertiliser”.
An RSPO certification is a seal of approval that the palm oil is produced without undue harm to the environment or society.
The plantation owner said although Wong had claimed that he had not hidden his involvement, the latest news had come as a surprise to many other plantation owners.
China Press had exposed Wong's membership as a DAP member since 2011, despite him saying that he had no political links or allegiance with any political party.
In January, Wong had also told Malaysia Insider that his group Himpunan Hijau did not see the necessity in fielding candidates for the 13th general election.
For more election stories, please visit The Star's GE13 site

Well, guess not many people remember that article too.


Anyway, that friend of mine in Kuantan said the Lynas issue is no longer such a big thing that it was there six years ago.


Not many people in Kuantan really care about it anymore, he said.


The way I see it, the issue is more of a dead horse being flogged to life to be ridden by some politicians in order for them to remain relevant. 


That's why I seriously suspect that most of those who will turn up at the public hearing this weekend will be people like Wong Tack and their followers.


I just hope the Lynas people, who will be there will be allowed to speak and present their facts and evidence instead of being heckled and shouted down.


Members of the media, particularly those based in Kuantan should be there in full force to make sure that doesn't happen and report the hearing as it transpires.

That aside, I also wonder, with just days before the public hearing, whether members of the review committee have visited the Lynas plant and properly briefed on its operations.

In case they haven't, let me once again put this video made by journalists who have been inside the plant and visited the surrounding area,




Who knows, maybe the Lynas review committee members will see it.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

A good Saturday and a bit on Budget 2019

Drove north with my cousin yesterday to visit our uncle.

She's starting her week-long semester break.

Glad that I got someone to keep me company along the more than seven hours day trip.

Used to go alone, which was quite tiring.

Our uncle was having one of his better days yesterday.

We had lunch together and chit chatted.

He wanted to go home but we managed to persuade him to be patient and wait until he's fully recovered.

Hopefully, Allah will grant him good health again.

The drive back to KL was also uneventful.

Talking to my cousin helped me from getting sleepy.

We stopped near my workplace to do our laundry.

My cousin attended to it as I went to my gym nearby for my daily exercise.

Just half an hour on the treadmill and another half on elliptical trainer.

 elliptical trainer

After the laundry and exercise were done, we went for a fish and chip dinner.

That's my day yesterday.

Budget 2019?

Couldn't care less, actually. It's about the same as any BN's budget of previous years.

Well, of course there's some bullshit too.

This is an interesting take on it,

The budget that shows 

the country has money after all


Yup, all that talk about the country going bankrupt before GE14 are just bullshit.

Doesn't matter now.

Cheers guys.

Friday, 2 November 2018

About catching them young

I totally agree with Dr Mahathir on this one,

PM against political parties in universities


I hope the handsome old man will tell the not so bright Education Minister to be more sensible when making policy statements.

Seriously, why did that Maszlee guy wants political parties to set up branches in public universities?

The students don't have enough distractions, is it?

Or is it because this Maszlee guy is trying to be popular again among the students after these sorts of things,



And bear in mind that he wanted to allow political parties into those public universities, which were financed with tax payers money.

Did we pay taxes to finance students making political noises in universities or did we pay taxes to finance students to be good in their studies so that we can have better future generation for the country?

If I have a daughter studying, let's say in UiTM, I would tell her to stay away from all these political people and just concentrate on her studies and enjoy her life as a student,

Of course she may observe the political happenings and form her own opinion but beyond that I would prefer her to wait until she graduated and earns her own living.

Most importantly, being so young, I wouldn't want her to be conned by the likes of this Maszlee guy.

Talked as if he's so good but the only thing significant so far from him is just about black school shoes and socks.

Well, now they even want to lower the voting age to 18 years old.

I believe they want to do that because politicians like the clueless Syed Saddiq needs the younger fan base.

Lowering voting age will enable Syed Saddiq to use these sort of videos to become more popular,



And they said I'm shallow....sigh.