Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mahathir did not reveal all about the Radioactive Waste issue.

By: Choo Sing Chye
24 - 5 - 2010

Tun Dr. Mahathir had at last admitted, but not all, what the foreign experts (engaged by the residents 27 years ago) had been saying all along i.e., the danger posed by the radioactive waste from the Asian Rare Earth (ARE) company near Bukit Merah and the waste dumps near Papan was indeed genuine and serious.

What Mahathir said a few weeks ago in the Star Online (15-5-2010): "In Malaysia, we do have nuclear waste which perhaps the public is not aware of."
The answer is that the public is well aware and informed of this nuclear waste and the danger it posed. This was the reason why they took ARE to court.On the 11th of July 1992, more than 3,000 residents from Menglembu, Bukit Merah, Papan and other affected areas were present at the Ipoh High Court where the judge, Mr. Peh Swee Chin granted eight plaintiffs an injunction to restrain ARE from operating and storing toxic and radioactive waste. ARE was given 14 days to comply with the order.

Subsequently ARE appealed to the Supreme Court. Barely a month on the 5th of August 1992, the Supreme Court allowed the application by ARE to suspend the Ipoh Court's order to cease operations pending an appeal by the company.

The parent company in Japan, Mitsubishi Kasei Corporation immediately wrote a letter to the residents expressing regrets over the application by ARE.

The letter reads, "…since the court ordered the plant to be closed down, we believe that the plant should not continue its operation without the harmonization with the local people, whether this ruling is right or wrong."

"Consequently, we believe that ARE should not apply for stay of execution of the injunction to stop operation, etc."

On the 23th December 1993, ARE finally won its appeal in the Supreme Court. Lord President Tun Abdul Hamid Omar order that the Ipoh High Court decision on the 11th of July 1992 be set aside with costs.

Then on the 19th January 1994, to everyone surprise, ARE announced that it was closing its plant in Bukit Merah. And according to them, the closing of its plant was inevitable because of the unavailability of raw material.

Mahathir: "We have to bury the Amang, a by-product from tin mining."

The Truth is, Amang (a tin trailing which is found in an abundance in Kinta Valley) is not buried but is used as a raw material from which Monazite (high value mineral) is extracted. Monazite is a rare earth Othophosphate, containing significant amounts (up to 10%) of the radioactive element Thorium Hydroxide which is the end product. Thus, radioactive waste Thorium Hydroxide is buried not Amang.

Mahathir: "It is not radioactive but it is not good to handle. We had to bury it in Perak, deep in the ground.
Thorium Hydroxide waste derived from Amang is radioactive! The radioactivity present in the waste is from the naturally occurring Thorium and Uranium series which will take millions of years to decay.

Mahathir: "But the place is still not safe, and we have almost one square mile that is dangerous."

The public already knew that! Twenty seven years ago, Dr. Sadao Ichikawa, a professor from Saitama University in Japan found highly dangerous level of radiation. On the surface of on the drums at the dumpsite produced a reading of 9,000 urad/hr and on the nearby farm the reading was 140 urad/hr.

The mandatory level agreed between the Perak State government and ARE was only 200 milli-urad/hr.

Mahathir: (He) did not know exactly where in Perak the Amang was buried. "Maybe it is a national secret but I know for a fact that we buried this activated material," he said in a press conference yesterday at the Al-Bukhary Foundation.

In sum. after a grueling decade long battle against the Barisan Nasional government led by Mahathir himself, the people of Perak should be told of the whereabouts of these alleged illegal dumps.

The act of keeping these radioactive waste dumps a secret is downright immoral.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

One Malaysia?

By: Choo Sing Chye


Until today, Malaysians still had a very scant idea of what One Malaysia is all about?

Conspicuously, the amount of One Malaysia information latched to the minds of the Malaysians after being bombarded by the Barisan Nasional overfed controlled media is difficult to determine.

This is not a big ‘Why’ question that needs plenty of grey matter upstairs - It does not.

Whatever it is, it will be a futile effort for anybody to blame the ordinary Malaysians for not trying hard to understand or too lazy to learn the hazy One Malaysia concept of Najib’s in the first place.

But the moment they start to get to the gist of the matter, his deputy, Muhyiddin strongly decrees the opposite, he does not want to be Malaysian first.

Malaysians are confused, is there another Malaysia? A Second Malaysia? One for the Bumiputras and another for the Non-Bumiputras?

None from the top beneficiaries of the One Malaysia plan came out to explain this, if they did, only vaguely. As a result, Malaysians continue to be confused.

Hulu Selangor presented the best opportunity for the Barisan’s government to explain to the Malaysians the real meaning of the One Malaysia concept.

But they blew it all away and eventually they missed the boat or sampan. The only thing that they could come out with is the Kamal-Alan-Nathan thing to represent a Malaysian entity.

Apart from this whimper, they had nothing else to show except going overdrive with their election machinery to generate an avalanche of hate, slander, defamation against Zaid Ibrahim.

Towards the end of the campaign, Barisan top leaders were so convinced of the 3,000 to 6,000 majority that they are willing to swear on the stacks of their remaining leaflets that it could be easily achieved.

Although, ordinary Malaysians in general had speculated far in advance that the gargantuan amount of money thrown into this by-election should earn the Barisan an ultra-expensive double RR – Rolls Royce, but unceremonially, the voters gave them a Kancil.

Conspicuously this massive ruthless racial jingle backfired and Barisan managed to secure a Kancil size majority of only 1,725 votes.

Thus by tolerating these racists’ viewpoint of the Barisan’s campaigners which noticeably similar in many ways with the value system of the Ku Klux Klan and the Skin Heads (White Supremacist), had inevitably blemished the One Malaysia concept and drove a substantial voters away from Barisan.

Shouldn’t these racists be living at the fringe, like the KKK in the United States and the Skin Heads in Europe?

Although the KKK and the Skin Heads are part and parcel of the society in the United States and the West, they are shunned by the local populace and pinned down to the outskirts of the mainstream politics and society.

But in One Malaysia, it is different.

It is different as to the fact that these tiny-minded characters are given the recognition as respectable domiciles of One Malaysia and are undeservingly rewarded a cozy spot under its roof.

If one is serious with the One Malaysia concept of “national unity, ethnic tolerance, and government efficiency,” there must be a strong political will on the part of the top leaderships in the Barisan to steer away from all forms of racism.

To best describe this political will, I wish to take a few excerpts from the book by the late Harry Truman (President of the US) illustrating his unshakable will to fight for justice and moral values even at the cost of losing the senate race.

In his book, “Give ‘em Hell Harry!” He said:

In those days, the Ku Klux Klan was a real power in my part of the country. They were a rough bunch.

In my campaign of 1924, a bunch of Klan boys came to my office and said they had a problem with me. They said they understood that my grandfather was a Jew, but they’d give me a special dispensation and their support if I would join them.

Well, I looked at those miserable creature and I said that my grandfather was not a Jew and that if he was, I’d be proud to say so, and that they could keep their support. We parted enemies, thank God!

I lost that election. They beat me, but I was never prouder to lose anything in my entire life.

In his second run for the senate, the principles he held still was with him:

I stood up and said on the courthouse steps in Sedalia…a stronghold of the Ku Klux Klan, and there wasn’t a black face in the crowd.

Friends and neighbors, I said, I just want to get something off my chest. I believe in the brotherhood of man, and not just the brotherhood of white men…

The negroes have been forced into segregated slums. They don’t have the necessities of life. They don’t have any job opportunities.

As free men, they’re entitled to something better than that. Some of you don’t quite agree with me, but you got to agree that if we push the Negro down into the depths of degradation, the white man is going to go down with him.

I won this election by 8000 votes!

In conclusion, I guess Najib had taken the first step to begin this journey but the second step is already off-course.

Inevitably, the third one would be heading towards the direction of Abdullah’s Islam Hadhari – it disappeared with his departure.

Apparently, Islam Hadhari concept was hard to understand and difficult to implement.

The One Malaysia concept is different, it is easy to understand but hard to swallow.

Soon it will disappear if nothing is done about it.