Both Lynas and solar panel manufacturing plant have been declared safe by the same authorities (Graphic by Dayang Norazhar for The Mole)
KUALA LUMPUR: An MCA leader said the DAP-led Penang Government's justification that it approved a solar panel manufacturing project after receiving favourable assessments from the International Energy Agency (EIA) and the Department of Environment (DOE) was baffling.
MCA central committee member Datuk Ti Lian Ker said lest the DAP forgets, the same agencies were the ones that assessed the Lynas rare earth refinery plant to be environmentally friendly and that led to the Pahang Government's approval for the project to be set up in the State.
Speaking to The Mole, Ti said it was obvious that when it comes to serving their purpose, the Penang Government used the authorities’ approval to validate and justify their decision.
He said: “It is funny how Pakatan Rakyat is using selective, discriminative standard when it comes to their state-led government’s decision on projects such as the solar plant in Penang.”
“When the same authorities gave the same approval and credential for Lynas, they were quick to dismiss it and claimed these authorities were not dependable.”
Lynas project, despite being declared safe by the IEA, DOE and Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB), faced mounting criticisms by Pakatan, organising protests and demonstrations on grounds that it imposed health and environmental risks.
“Apart from those bodies, Lynas had also been evaluated by independent international experts to see whether it meets the standard required as well as to ensure its safety. I believe people now must ask why only certain projects have been targeted while others are kept under wrap,” Ti added.
He also called for anti-Lynas group to make a stand on the solar panel manufacturing plant project to show their consistencies in promoting a safe environment.
AELB director-general Raja Abdul Aziz Adnan confirmed that Lynas project has been monitored by the body and it has also fulfilled the legal and international standard requirements.
“AELB is responsible for monitoring Lynas operation and we also have the details, data readings and the background of the project,” he said.
“Actually there should not be any issues after approval is given, be it for Lynas or solar panel plant in Batu Kawan,” Raja Abdul Aziz said adding that Lynas has been unfairly politicised.
A blog post at Stop The Lies pointed that the solar panel manufacturing plant, which Germany's Robert Bosch GmbH plans to build in Batu Kawan, will be similar to a plant in China which was forced to close down due to health risks it posed to the local population.
However Penang state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh said the solar panel manufacturing plant project in Batu Kawan will proceed and insisted it is safe as several bodies including the IEA and DOE had vetted the project before the Penang Government gave its go-ahead.
Bernama reported on Tuesday that Penang Gerakan Youth wants the DAP-led Penang government to explain why the solar power project is being undertaken in the area.
Its Complaints and Services Bureau chief Rich Too said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng should clear the air on the project as it would be located in a residential area.