Police worried about chaos at rare earth protest

Police warned today that stern action will be taken against anyone who tries to create chaos from the protest against the building of a rare earth plant in the Gebeng industrial area.

Pahang police chief Saifuddin Abdul Ghani said the “protest programme”, including demonstrations and lecture sessions, was being closely monitored.

“I ask all parties concerned to adhere to the law and not do anything drastic,” he told reporters, commenting on the recent spate of protests against the RM700 million plant being undertaken by Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Lynas Corporation of Australia.

The protestors alleged that the processing of rare earth would cause radiation injurious to the health of people in and around the area.

Social activists claimed that the plant would produce 20,000 tonnes of radioactive waste a year.

The sessions organised by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board and the state government to explain the project to the people do not seem to have had much impact.

The government on May 22 announced that an independent panel would be set up as soon as possible to study the health and security aspects of the plant.

Saifuddin said that police would act against protestors who are aggressive or those who break the law.

“Thus far, there has been no report of any incident in connection with the issue. And I hope that all parties will listen to sound advice (and avoid trouble),” he added.

– Bernama