Shin-Etsu rare earth magnet producing plant in Shah Alam is the previous BN state government's failure, says MP Khalid Samad.
UPDATE: Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad clarified his earlier statement, saying he was not aware of the existence of the rare earth magnet producing factory in Shah Alam, and that he didn't imply that the factory did similar operation as the Lynas plant in Kuantan.
KUALA LUMPUR: Shah Alam member of parliament Khalid Samad today blamed the previous Barisan Nasional led state government for approving a rare earth magnet producing factory in his constituency.
Commenting on a blog post that questioned the existence of the Japanese company which produced rare earth magnets in Shah Alam, Khalid said the current Pakatan led government should not be blamed for it.
Shin Etsu (M) Sdn Bhd has a factory at the Hicom Industrial Area in Shah Alam rare earth magnets. The factory has been operating in the industrial area since July 1993.
Blogger Apanama asked in his post, "could we expect the Pakatan led Selangor state government to close down the factory which has been operating in this country for decades?
"We cannot do anything about it. What could we do? It has been operational for years andwe cannot simply stop it. This is the failure of the previous BN led government.
"The government in the past had made the mistake by approving such a plant in Shah Alam. Now we in Pakatan Rakyat are more aware and would not allow such factories to operate. Look at how we are standing up against Lynas," Khalid who is Selangor Pas deputy commissioner explained.
He said people are more aware of their rights now due to Pakatan Rakyat's efforts.
Pointing to objections to the proposed Lynas rare earth plant in Kuantan as an example, Khalid claimed there were too many unanswered questions about the plant which left people uncertain about their safety.
In a follow-up post, blogger Apanama pointed to Pas Hulu Langat MP Dr Che Rosli Che Mat's statement where the trained nuclear scientist criticised the anti-Lynas group -- which includes PKR's Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh -- for disregarding expert opinions on the matter.
Fuziah, when contacted, had a different version to the rare earth magnet producing factory in Shah Alam.
Fuziah claimed the rare earth magnet producing factory in Selangor and the Lynas rare earth plant in Gebeng, Kuantan were two separate matters.
The PKR vice president said, "rare earth element in Shah Alam factory is not radioactive as it has already been processed."
"Lynas is the rare earth ore processing plant which processes the rare earth element such as crushing and extracting it, while leaving the waste that contains radioactive. Thus the factory in Shah Alam is safe as it only involves downstream activity".
Fuziah also took time to explain that she was not totally against development but was concerned about the safety of the people and the environment.
She also denied politicising the issue.