Friday, 3 February 2012

A BN Gomen stands for progress and more jobs, Pakatan's will be full of demagogues

I just love this article by
Lynas Go-Ahead is Politically and Commercially Astute

An election is looming but the government isn't following the script. One of the golden rules for incumbent parties in the months before going to the polls is don't do anything controversial. The decision to go ahead with the Lynas rare earth processing plant in Kuantan is therefore a brave move by the government.

But it is a risk worth taking for Malaysia. The RM 714 million investment by Australian mining company Lynas has the potential to earn RM5 billion a year, creating hundreds of jobs directly and thousands of jobs indirectly. The process is controversial because a by-product of extracting rare earth elements is a small amount of low-level radioactive material. Given the emotions that surround this subject, opponents of the plant have seized on the word "radioactive" but forgotten the qualifying words "low level".

Over the past year the Government has set out to address safety concerns and to be transparent about the Lynas venture. It offered the world's foremost authority on nuclear matters, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), free reign to assess the safety of the project and vowed to abide by its findings. The IAEA was spawned by the United Nations more than half a century ago and its reputation for independence and scientific rigour is beyond question and above national governments. The notion that business or political interests in any country can sway its findings is unthinkable.

In the spirit of bipartisanship the government also invited opposition MPs to meet the IAEA and representatives from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). Dato Ambiga Sreenevasan even brought along her own handpicked scientific experts to give her (yet another) independent opinion. What happened next speaks volumes about the negativity, damaging populism and anti-business sentiment that permeates the opposition.

The IAEA gave the project the green light on June 29 last year and when it did so Ambiga not only rejected the Atomic Commission's findings but also those of her own hand-picked scientific observers, who had read the conclusions and agreed with them.

The other vocal opponent, PKR National Vice President and Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh, also rejected the 57-page report outright, accusing the IAEA of glossing over the facts. For a body with the reputation of the IAEA that's not only insulting but borderline libellous. (See also The Iconoclast)

Following the granting of the operating licence this week by our own Atomic Energy Licensing Board (based on the findings of the IAEA) Pakatan Rakyat is now sending out mixed signals. Some MPs such as Fuziah say they will shut down the plant once elected to government. Unsurprisingly, this is not part of the Pakatan manifesto – they don't have one. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been asked for his view and is so far silent on the topic, choosing instead to take lunch with the foreign media.

Any notion of closing the Lynas plant is as foolish as it is unworkable. The Lynas operation will be in full production my mid-year. Closing it would mean taxpayers funding a huge compensation package for the company, which signed a deal in good faith with the Malaysian government almost four years ago.

Such talk also damages Pakatan's business credentials ahead of GE13 and raises the question: would a Pakatan government be prepared to take the tough decisions that boost our economy and help take us to developed nations status by 2020? Many doubts remain.

The decision to go ahead with the plant is the right one. Aside from the revenue prospects from the plant, it will help break China's monopoly on some of the worlds' most important rare earth elements used in mobile phones and plasma televisions. What would happen to Malaysian jobs in the electronics sector if China suddenly increased prices? Aside from this foreign investors are watching Malaysia carefully and asking if we are serious about business. Amid all the global economic uncertainty in 2012 the answer to that question must remain yes.

Read the full article here.

Eat your hearts out Stop-Lynas people, speak now or forever hold your peace, this blessed country is on its way to Vision 2020 and no amount of politically motivated fear mongering by the Pakatan inspired Anti/Stop Lynas group will hold this country down.
  1. Politicians are elected to Parliament to represent their constituent to debate issues rationally and with dignity.
  2. Politicians are elected to Parliament not to sow fear in their constituents.
  3. If Parliamentarians prefer to demo and strike fear in their constituents and refuse to listen to neutral experts then its time for them to go as they have become demagogues, they do not benefit the people they serve any longer.
definition of demagogue leaders who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power. 

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