Government must put public health and environment at centre of Lynas operations

Press Statment                                                               13 August 2019

Sahabat Alam Malaysia is extremely concerned by news reports that the government has decided to allow Lynas to continue operating its plant for at least another six months.  This is despite the fact that the company has not safely disposed of its hazardous radioactive wastes, either by exporting them or by already placing them in a suitable permanent disposal facility.

The present licence given by previous government to Lynas Malaysia to operate in the country is expiring on 2 September 2019. Therefore, before that date, the present government has to decide whether to renew the licence, or to let it end, or to renew it for a certain period with conditions.

Lynas Malaysia’s operation generates two types of waste: the Water Leach Purification (WLP) process which contains radioactive wastes including thorium and uranium and the neutralisation underflow residue (NUF) which is also hazardous as it contains heavy metals. Both of these wastes are subject to regulations under Malaysia’s laws.

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Isu Lynas: Kerajaan Mestilah Utamakan Kesihatan Awam dan Alam Sekitar

Kenyataan Akhbar                                     13 Ogos 2019

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) amat bimbang oleh laporan berita bahawa kerajaan telah memutuskan untuk membenarkan Lynas meneruskan operasi kilangnya sekurang-kurangnya enam bulan lagi. Walaupun pada hakikatnya syarikat itu tidak melupuskan sisa radioaktif berbahayanya dengan selamat, sama ada dengan mengeksportnya atau dengan  menyimpannya di tapak kemudahan pelupusan kekal yang sesuai.

Lesen pada masa kini yang diberikan oleh kerajaan sebelum ini kepada Lynas Malaysia untuk beroperasi di negara ini akan tamat pada 2 September 2019. Oleh itu, sebelum tarikh itu, kerajaan sekarang perlu memutuskan sama ada untuk memperbaharui lesen atau membiarkannya berakhir atau untuk memperbaharuinya semula untuk tempoh tertentu dengan bersyarat.

Operasi Lynas Malaysia menghasilkan dua jenis sisa: proses daripada ‘Water Leach Purification’ (WLP) yang mengandungi sisa radioaktif termasuk thorium dan uranium dan ‘Neutralisation Underflow Residue’ (NUF) yang juga berbahaya memandangkan ia mengandungi logam berat. Kedua-dua sisa ini tertakluk kepada peraturan di bawah undang-undang Malaysia.

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Kemusnahan hutan dan pencabulan NCR di Sarawak: Kerajaan persekutuan wajib turun ke lapangan

Kenyataan Akhbar                                       9 Ogos  2019 

Pada Hari Antarabangsa Orang Asal Sedunia hari ini, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) ingin mengulangi permintaan kami kepada kerajaan persekutuan untuk turun ke lapangan bagi memahami dengan terperinci bagaimana projek-projek perladangan monokultur di Sarawak telah menyebabkan kemusnahan hutan dan pencabulan hak tanah adat (NCR). Kami telah menyuarakan hal ini buat pertama kali sewaktu pelancaran penerbitan kami, The Land We Lost – Native customary rights and monoculture plantations in Sarawak (Tanah Kami yang Hilang – Hak tanah adat dan perladangan monokultur di Sarawak) pada Julai 21.

Penerbitan ini menegaskan kita wajib memahami konteks perladangan monokultur besar di Sarawak dengan tepat. Pertama, ia membabitkan kemusnahan hutan. Kedua, ia merupakan sebuah perkembangan pasca-pembalakan yang bermula pada lewat 1990an, setelah sumber kayu balak semakin berkurangan akibat dari pembalakan tidak terkawal yang dilakukan selama lebih dari dua dekad. Ketiga, ia melibatkan pencabulan NCR. Keempat, kemusnahan ini berlaku akibat dari keluasan ladang yang melampau serta cara dan konteks projek-projek ini dibangunkan, yang lazimnya melibatkan syarikat-syarikat besar. Oleh itu, kami tetap menyokong usaha melindungi kepentingan para pekebun kecil di seluruh negara. Kelima, Licence for Planted Forest (LPF) di bawah bidangkuasa Jabatan Hutan Sarawak, walaupun melibatkan 285,520 hektar tanaman sawit, pada dasarnya adalah permit untuk penanaman kayu kertas dan balak. Pada tahun 2017, keluasan kawasan LPF ini adalah 2.8 juta hektar, lebih luas lagi dari kawasan penanaman sawit menurut data Lembaga Minyak Sawit Malaysia (MPOB) yang berjumlah 1.5 juta hektar di Sarawak.

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Deforestation and NCR violations in Sarawak: Federal government must conduct ground visits

Press Statment                                          9 August 2019

In conjunction with the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) wishes to repeat our request to the federal government to conduct ground visits in order to understand in detail how monoculture plantations in Sarawak have caused deforestation and the violations of the native customary rights (NCR). We first put this request forward during the launching of our publication, The Land We Lost – Native customary rights and monoculture plantations in Sarawak, on July 21.

This publication stresses on how we must understand the context of large monoculture plantations in Sarawak accurately. First, they involve deforestation. Second, they are a post-logging development, a result of the depletion in timber resources, caused by indiscriminate logging conducted for more than two decades. Third, they involve NCR violations. Fourth, the excessive size of the plantations does matter, along with the manner and context in which the projects are developed, typically by corporations. As such, we continue to be supportive towards any effort to protect the interests of smallholders all over the country. Fifth, the Licence for Planted Forests (LPF) under the jurisdiction of the Sarawak Forests Department, of which 285,520 hectares are under oil palm cultivation, in principle, is the permit for the cultivation of pulp and paper and timber trees. In 2017, the size of LPF areas stood at 2.8 million hectares, larger than the size of oil palm cultivation in Sarawak, which according to the data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), stood at 1.5 million hectares.

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Scaling down PSR with federal funding for PTMP is not the answer – Call to scrap PSR and review the PTMP

Press Statment                                             26 July 2019

Scaling down the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project if there is federal funding for the PTMP components such as the Bayan-Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Pan Island Link (PIL 1) will not solve the fundamental problems posed by both PSR and the PTMP.

It was reported in the media yesterday that following a meeting with the PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the Chief Minister of Penang, Chow KonYeow that was one of the points of consideration.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia’s (SAM) objection to the PSR and that of the fishermen has been that the mega reclamation project will have massive effects as clearly spelt out recently by the Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry in Parliament who openly admitted (on 16 July) that the reclamation project will destroy and have residual impact on mudflat ecosystems, fishing grounds, turtle landing zones and part of the coral reefs at Pulau Rimau, which is an important ecosystem for the local marine life.

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Mengecilkan PSR dengan pembiayaan Persekutuan untuk PTMP bukanlah jawapannya – Gesaan supaya batalkan PSR dan kaji semula PTMP

Siaran Akhbar                                            26 Julai 2019 

Mengecilkan projek Tebus Guna Selatan Pulau Pinang (PSR) jika terdapat pembiayaan Persekutuan bagi komponen PTMP seperti Transit Aliran Ringan (LRT) Bayan Lepas dan Pan Island Link (PIL 1) tidak akan menyelesaikan masalah asas yang dihadapi oleh PSR dan PTMP.

Dilaporkan di dalam media bahawa berikutan pertemuan dengan Presiden PKR, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dan Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, YAB. Chow Kon Yeow bahawa ia merupakan salah satu perkara yang telah dipertimbangkan.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) membantah PSR dan nelayan juga menyatakan projek tebus guna mega itu akan memberikan kesan besar sepertimana yang dijelaskan oleh Menteri Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani baru-baru ini di Parlimen yang secara terbuka mengakuinya (pada 16 Julai 2019) bahawa projek tebus guna itu akan memusnahkan dan membawa kesan lumpur ke atas ekosistem kukup, kawasan penangkapan ikan, zon pendaratan penyu dan sebahagian daripada terumbu karang di Pulau Rimau, yang menjadi ekosistem penting bagi hidupan marin tempatan.

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Sam Gesa Punca Banjir Lumpur Di Bayan Baru Ditangani Segera

Kenyataan Media                                         25 Julai 2019

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) menggesa kerajaan Pulau Pinang menyiasat dan mengambil tindakan segera bagi mengatasi masalah banjir lumpur yang kerap berlaku di kawasan Bayan Baru di sini.

SAM kesal walau pun kejadian tersebut sudah berlarutan sejak lebih 10 tahun yang lalu namun ia masih belum diambil tindakan dengan berkesan.

Baru-baru ini (24 Julai 2019) kejadian serupa berulang lagi di mana beribu pengguna jalan dan premis perniagaan di kawasan berkenaan telah terjejas. Dalam tinjauan yang dibuat SAM mendapati mendapan sisa lumpur di atas jalan raya di sekitar Bayan Baru telah menyebabkan berlaku kesesakan kenderaan yang serius.

Sekarang keadaan menjadi lebih buruk apabila lumpur yang sudah kering bertukar menjadi habuk dan mengancam orang awam.  SAM bimbang jika masalah ini tidak ditangani segera ia boleh menjejaskan keselamatan dan kesihatan orang ramai.

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Mud Flows In Bayan Baru: Sam Calls For Urgent Action

Press Statement                                          25 July 2019

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) has urged the Penang state government to investigate and take immediate action to address the recurrent problem of mud-flows in Bayan Baru. 

SAM regrets that although the problem of mud-flows here has been occurring for more than 10 years till now no effective action has been taken.

Recently on 24 July 2019, thousands of road users and businesses in the area were affected by  mud-flows after a heavy downpour. SAM's survey found that residual mud on the roads around Bayan Baru had led to serious traffic congestion.

Now the situation has become worse because the dust from the dried mud is a nuisance to the public. SAM is concerned that if this issue is not addressed soon it could affect the safety and health of the public.

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Bantahan Terhadap Cadangan Kuari Batu Kapur Di Gua Kelambu, Daerah Baling, Kedah

Kenyataan Akbar                                      24 Julai 2019

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) membantah cadangan kuari batu kapur di Gua Kelambu, Lot PT 1, Mukim Pulai, Daerah Baling, Kedah berdasarkan beberapa perkara berikut:-

TEMPOH SAH LAPORAN EIA TELAH TAMAT

Tarikh kelulusan melanjutkan tempoh Laporan Penilaian Kesan Kepada Alam Sekeliling (Laporan EIA) bagi Cadangan Kuari Batu Kapur di Gua Kelambu, Lot PT 1, Mukim Pulai, Daerah Baling, Kedah cadangan projek ialah 6 Februari 2017.

Kelulusan Laporan EIA hanya sah diterima pakai dalam tempoh dua (2) tahun dari surat kelulusan dikeluarkan.

PERCANGGAHAN ZON

Mengikut Rancangan Tempatan Daerah Baling 2020 (RTD Baling 2020) yang diwartakan pada 29 Disember 2011, pengezonan kawasan cadangan projek (Blok Perancangan Kecil 4.3 - BPK 4.3) ialah hutan. 

Jabatan Perancangan Bandar dan Desa Negeri Kedah (JPBD Kedah) tidak boleh mengeluarkan kawasan zon hutan kepada zon kuari batu kapur melainkan telah dilaku dan diluluskan suatu pengubahan, pemansuhan atau penggantian RTD mengikut Subseksyen 16(1), Akta Perancangan Bandar dan Desa 1976 (Akta 172).

 

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54 community organizations and NGOs oppose genetically modified mr219 rice field tests

Press Statement                                       22 July 2019

Referring to the announcement on the Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources (KATS) website, the National Biosafety Board (LBK), is evaluating an application from the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) to conduct a confined field trial on genetically modified rice (GM rice) that is tolerant to glyphosate and resistant to paddy diseases caused by bacteria and fungi. This experiment will reportedly to be carried out at MARDI Arau Station, located in the Tambun Tulang area, in Perlis.

The GM rice that will be tested comes from the well-known Malaysian variety of MR219 with an additional characteristic of tolerant to glyphosate herbicide and susceptibility to bacteria Xanthomonas oryzae pv oryzae and fungus Pyricularia spp. This GM rice is not produced by a typical hybrid method but it is produced in a laboratory using genetic modification technology to create a novel GM rice that does not exist in nature. The application to plant GM paddy in the field has raised serious concerns over its impact on humans and the environment.

Full press statement Click here

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