Thursday, 28 June 2012

Final thoughts on Lynas Gebeng now that the TOL will be issued

Even after the PSC report giving the all clear for the Lynas Gebeng to be given a Temporary Operating License, it seems that the Anti Lynas folks who are probably anti anything that the BN Federal Gomen does has still not given up judging by this report:

Rules broken during Lynas protest, police say:

What's with the black coffin folks, nobody is going to die from radiation at Gebeng lah. 

I think the Himpunan Hijau/Stop Lynas/DAP/PKR/PAS dan sewaktu dengan mereka, should face the undeniable scientific fact that the Lynas Gebeng Plant is safe, its really time to move on and let Lynas Gebeng operate without let and hindrance and finally contribute to our economy and the nation's wealth. Heck, I do not even see PKR MP Fuziah amongst the crowd, do you?.... and last I heard she was missing from the Parliament session when the PSC gave their report even.

This will be my ultimate post on Lynas Gebeng, no further post is necessary now that the Gomen has finally convinced itself that the rare earth processing plant is safe and that it promises to monitor the plant tightly after being spooked by opposition politicians.

Lastly I would like to share this comment by my friend Dr. Looi on:

What is the "safe" level of radiation?

Public dose limits for exposure from uranium mining or nuclear plants are usually set at 1 mSv per year above background.

The figures below are given by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP) and its international counterpart, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). Both of these organizations offer recommendations for the maximum permissible dose (MPD) of radiation.

General Public annual MPD by both NCRP and ICRP is 1 mSv.

For Radiation Workers, the annual MPD is 50 mSv (NCRP) and 20 mSv (ICRP), with a cumulative MPD of 10 mSv x Age.
MPD during pregnancy is 5 mSv (NCRP) and 2 mSv (ICRP).
This is over and above background exposure, and excludes medical exposure.

However, experts including Professor Wade Allison of Oxford University argue that the dose limit can safely be raised to 100 millisieverts, based on current health statistics.

Compare this with the dose of 0.002 millisieverts/year of exposure for people living within 1 km of the Lynas plant in the worst case scenario (estimated by Lynas).

This level of 0.002 mSv/yr is actually grossly overestimated because the low energy gamma rays from the Thorium-232 decay chain is able to travel less than 300 metres in air.

Note, the average energy of most abundant emission is only 0.059 MeV, though the gamma ray from Thallium-208 decay to stable Lead-208 has a higher energy of 2.62 MeV.

The radon-220 has a very short half life of only 55 seconds and as such cannot travel far and do not accumulate in confined spaces like the radon-222 from the Uranium decay series.

So the actual radiation dose at a distance greater than 300 metres from the plant is approaching 0 mSv/year !

Comparative Dosages in Biological Effect in mSv.

Dose from natural radiation in the human body: 0.40 mSv per year

Sleeping next to someone for 8 hours 0.02 mSv/yr (10x Lynas worst case)

Sleeping in wooden house = 0.20 mSv/yr (100x Lynas worst case)

Smoking a pack of cigarettes daily 0.20 mSv/yr (100x Lynas worst case)
Slag brick and granite house = up to 2.0 mSv/yr (1,000x Lynas worst case)

Chest X-ray = 0.10 mSv

Medical or dental X-ray 0.39 mSv

CT Scan (Chest) = 10 mSv

CT Fluoroscopy of abdomen and pelvis 6 to 90 mSv (median=31 mSv)
Average individual background radiation dose: 2 mSv per year (1.5 mSv per year for Australians and 3.0 mSv per year for Americans)

Dose from atmospheric sources (mostly radon): 2 mSv per year

Total average radiation dose for Americans: 6.2 mSv per year

Current average dose limit for nuclear workers: 20 mSv per year

Dose from background radiation in parts of Iran, India and Europe: 50 mSv per year
(Source: UNSCEAR and EPA and IAEA)

All the potassium that we eat everyday in our food contains potassium-40 and the normal dietary potassium would give a total of about 80 Bq per day.
Compare this with the Lynas waste which produces only 6 Bq/gm

Even your wife or husband is radioactive, with a radioactivity of 4,000 Bq from Potassium-40 and another 3,000 Bq from Carbon-14 giving a total of about 7,000 Bq!

Sleeping next to someone (i.e. your wife or husband) for 8 hours a day will lead to an exposure of 0.02 mSv/year (Source: UNSCEAR and EPA).

Since all living cells contain potassium, all types of meat, flesh, fruits, nuts and vegetables are radioactive because of the potassium-40 content.

The so-called sodium free salt recommended by health experts to combat high blood pressure is nothing more than just highly radioactive potassium salt! Even a lot of doctors, specialists and professors do not know this!

The message here is that more radioactive substances are freely sold in the shops and used as a fertilizer or eaten by us than you would otherwise thought.

Dr Looi

Thank you Dr. Looi!

I guess no matter whatever scientific evidence is presented to the Anti Lynas folks, nothing will change their view which is sadly set in political concrete, too much and too long exposure to unrealistic fear mongering does have an effect to ones perception. 

Thank God that our  anti Lynas brethren whose views are so myopically politicised that its not about lynas gebeng anymore, but its about painting a negative picture of the ruling BN Gomen, are in the small minority. Yup, they even have to join forces with the rioters of Bersih 3 to get maximum exposure for their cause.

Friday, 22 June 2012

A construction mishap that could be avoided perhaps?

News from The Star which caught my attention:

Workers trapped in wet cement in building mishap
BESUT: Three construction workers were trapped in wet cement for two hours after the roof of a pavilion they were building collapsed in Jertih here.
The incident occurred at about 1pm when cement was being poured onto the roof, causing three supporting pillars of the building, which had been under construction since May 15, to give way.
Crane operator Nasir Zakaria, 38, said he saw the pillars giving way as he was pouring the cement.
Brought to safety: Rescue personnel helping one of three contract workers who were trapped in wet cement for two hours after the roof of a pavilion collapsed in Jertih, Terengganu. — ZABIDI TUSIN / The Star
“Within a couple of seconds, the roof collapsed. Six workers were working at the building at that time. I quickly sought help from nearby residents,” he said.

Residents managed to help Nasir rescue three workers from the rubble. However, three others remained trapped before they were later rescued by the authorities.

Besut OCPD Supt Kamaruddin Mohd Zakaria said the rescue operation started at about 1.40pm.
Big mess: Rescue workers examining the site of the collapse in Jertih.
Indonesian worker Ari Ramlan, 31, was pulled out at about 3.20pm while two others, Bangladeshis Raju, 42 and Zilo, were rescued about 15 minutes later.

Supt Kamaruddin said the workers had been sent to Besut Hospital.

“They did not sustain any serious injuries. We are still investigating the cause of the incident,” he said.
What happened to safety procedures, were they followed? I pray that no lives were lost due to the mishap.

Something however about the collapse of the temporary structure which caught my attention, so I blew up the picture a bit and lo and behold there seems to be no starter bars for the ground floor column.

The investigating authority on the collapse should take a detailed look at the starter bars among others to find out the cause of the sudden collapse which could easily have turned into a tragedy.

Thank You.

Lynas Plant gets its approval for Temporary Operating License, finally!

The long wait for the Lynas Gebeng plant approval for temporary operating license is finally over:
Finally the Green Light for Lynas Rare Earths Mining Plant

As reported by The Choice, the report exhaustively runs through the known data on the proposed plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, and not only sets out 31 recommended requirements for the plant's operation, but also works to dispel the cloud of falsehoods that have descended around the project as a result of Pakatan Rakyat's efforts.The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) has issued its final report on the Lynas rare earths refinery, putting to an end one of the longest-running, and most shameful, sagas in modern Malaysian politics.

The report also gives its approval for the company to be awarded a temporary operating license (TOL) after finding that it has met all the requirements imposed by law to date.

Bowing to the obvious, the report made clear that Lynas has met every metric set by Malaysian and international safety standards. "The committee is satisfied that the project has complied with standards and laws in Malaysia which are in line with international practices. In fact, more stringent rules have been imposed on the plant than international standards," the report found.

Pakatan Rakyat has worked diligently to convince the public that the rare earths plant -- dealing in material with a radiation level lower than that of extracted petroleum -- is actually a nuclear power plant, going so far as to gag one of its own scientists who threatened to tell the truth and eventually did.

Of all the falsehoods told by Pakatan, exploiting fears of nuclear waste in the wake of the tsunami in Japan was arguably the most reprehensible. The PSC explored this allegation at length, completely rubbishing it. It found that workers at the plant -- who would face multiples of exposure that area residents would -- would be exposed to an average radiation dosage of two millisieverts (mSv) a year, a tenth of the internationally-recognised permitted dosage of 20mSv a year.

Where the public was concerned, the amount was a bare fraction of that. "The amount of radiation exposure to the public is 0.002mSv a year while the permitted dosage is 1mSv a year," it added.

An abdominal CT scan yields 10mSv during the hour of the scan itself. As of press time, Pakatan is not yet calling for CT scans to be banned in Malaysia.

The residue from the facility -- the last point onto which the Opposition had taken hold as its other objections were destroyed -- will be held to a standard harsher than almost anywhere else in the world. The residue's radiation should be below 1 Becquerel per gramme (Bq/g), well below Britain's level of 5Bq/g.

Extracted oil is only considered contaminated if it exceeds 30Bq/g. As of press time, Pakatan is not yet calling to ban Petronas.

Working to defuse more Pakatan Rakyat objections, the PSC proposed that a monitoring committee, made up of related agencies, non-governmental organisations and experts, be created to oversee plant operation; and that an environmental audit be conducted every six months by a third party agency registered with the Department of Environment (DOE).

The PSC also recommended a baseline health study to be carried out on the number of related diseases such as leukemia, cancer, congenital malformation, asthma and upper respiratory tract infection.

Finally, the PSC recommended that Lynas set aside 1 per cent of its gross annual sales for research and development, of which half should go towards research on residue management.

In a rational world, that would conclude the matter. The Opposition has so polluted this debate that it cannot be said to take place in a rational world. There is now talk of suing Lynas in Australian courts to stop the operation of a plant here, despite easily clearing every standard set forth in Malaysian and international law.

PKR has already made clear that the plant will be a lead ceramah topic in the leadup to GE13. Not even Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim knows how he will demagogue this issue next.

The entire episode is a sad testament to the Opposition's willingness to terrify and mislead the rakyat merely to win a minor political battle. Politics, by nature, frequently involves exaggeration, but what Pakatan Rakyat has done over the months and months of pitched battles over the plant is not exaggeration, it is outright lying and manipulation.

No reputable scientist in Malaysia or abroad has given any support to the fevered objections the Opposition has put forward, but they have nevertheless poisoned the minds of area residents with fears of nuclear meltdowns and poisoned land and water.

The question now is not whether the plant will go into full operation -- it will -- but whether the voters will punish the Opposition for this campaign of baseless terror when GE13 is called.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Game Over for Anwar?

In Anwar's quest to occupy the office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia he has had to deal insurmountable odds and obstructions much of which could probably be traced back to himself  but nevertheless I dare say no ordinary human would have survived mentally intact with the long list of pressures placed on his being and by extension his family.....; Court charges for abuse of power and sodomy, prison time, China doll video, the Nallakaruppan Statutory Declaration on his alleged infidelities with married woman and boys, and a host of other declarations. That he has survived and even prospered personally and politically until now at the age of 65 showed tremendous will power and mental strength in the person called Anwar Ibrahim.

However, I think with this latest NST report today, if investigated and found to be true, I seriously think that it is game over for our self proclaimed Prime Minister in Waiting. He could be charged for abuse of power and if found guilty at age 65 he will be sent to prison and any hopes of him becoming our PM will fade into the prison cell where he will be incarcerated. I will shed no tears for this politician though, crime does not pay. 

Read in full here.

Read comments on BIGCAT post here too: Anwar not so cock sure anymore

For sure there will be plenty of drama in the coming days and weeks and of course I do not want Anwar Ibrahim to be PM , he carries too much baggage to lead this blessed country of ours. Certainly there are plenty of good people in Malaysia who can lead this country to greater heights.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Electorial Politics and Education by Dr. Chandra Muzaffar

If a Chinese Malaysian can pursue his entire education in Chinese, from primary to university level, how much exposure would he have to Malaysian students and teachers from other communities? How would this affect his attitude towards, and outlook on, the other? What would be his notion of a Malaysian identity?

Chandra Muzaffar 

Electoral politics in multi-ethnic societies sometimes undermines the quest for national unity.

We are witnessing that in Malaysia now. As the battle for votes in the coming General Election intensifies, the major competitors for power are going all out to project themselves as the champion of this or that ethnic constituency. This is obvious in their approach to
Chinese education.

While Chinese primary education is integral to the national school system, the push for secondary education in the Chinese language beyond what is provided for, at present, has become more pronounced. The clamour for an independent Chinese language secondary
school in Kuantan is part of this. Political parties in the Opposition and in the Government are now in the forefront of this demand. If the limit upon independent Chinese secondary schools --- there are 61 now --- is set aside, it is quite conceivable that the number would increase dramatically in a short while. Would this lead to the emergence of a complete Chinese secondary school system that would parallel the national secondary school system in Bahasa Malaysia? The implications of such a possibility should be understood within the context of the Government’s recent recognition of most universities in China.

If a Chinese Malaysian can pursue his entire education in Chinese, from primary to university level, how much exposure would he have to Malaysian students and teachers from other communities? How would this affect his attitude towards, and outlook on, the other? What would be his notion of a Malaysian identity?

It is not just the silo that an exclusive Chinese education would create that is a challenge to us all. Many urban Malay parents are now opting for Islamic religious education at primary and secondary school level for their children. With the proliferation of Islamic universities and colleges in the country, they could choose to continue their tertiary education in a largely mono ethnic, mono-religious environment. Needless to say, this will also have a negative impact upon inter- ethnic, inter-religious ties in the future.

There are other current developments that will also impact upon the national school. The Government has made it easier for Malaysians to enrol in private schools which ipso facto will be patronised by those from the upper echelons of society. Thus, a class division which is already entrenched will be further exacerbated. A handful of Malaysians want the authorities to allow for English medium education, without much concern for what it will do to a school system that is already dichotomised in so many other ways.

It appears from all this that there isn’t that much commitment to the national school. Has the national school become the ‘step-child’ of our education system?

Since the Malaysian Constitution recognises Malay as the national language, it follows logically that the national school with Malay as the main medium of instruction should be the pivot of our education system. The Razak Report of 1956, the only comprehensive education report that the nation has had, acknowledges this. It is emphatic about the role of the national school as the channel for promoting national unity.

It is not widely appreciated that the Malay language had for hundreds of years served as the lingua franca--- the language that facilitated communication among diverse ethnic communities--- of a vast region that is today described as the Malay world. It created a sense of cultural unity and forged an identity--- the Malay identity--- that transcended ethnicity, making the Malays one of the most cosmopolitan people on earth. In contemporary times, Malay, as Bahasa Indonesia, has also helped to develop a national identity out of tremendous ethnic diversity in Indonesia. Malay can play that role in Malaysia too, if the national school becomes truly national.

To become national, the Bahasa Malaysia based school has to emerge as the school of first choice for all Malaysians. Its quality has to improve significantly. Bahasa Malaysia, English and other languages should be taught well. This also applies to other core subjects such as Mathematics, Science and History. Parents will also be impressed by the school if student discipline is strictly enforced within a caring environment.

Competent, dedicated teachers would be the essential pre-requisite for such a school system. They should not just impart knowledge and skills but also try to mould the young under their charge into honest and trustworthy human beings. Teachers should treat all students, regardless of their backgrounds, with fairness and a sense of justice.

The national school teaching community should be much more multi-ethnic and multi- religious than what it is today. More non-Malays and non-Muslims should be appointed as School Heads and Senior Assistants. At district, state and national levels, the education office or department should reflect the multi-ethnic composition of the nation. Qualified Dayaks and Kadazans should be given administrative roles outside Sarawak and Sabah.

What this means is that within the three component elements of the education system --- administrators, teachers and students --- ability should be recognised and rewarded. It is only when the education system is perceived to be promoting ability and excellence that parents will have the confidence to send their children to the national school. At the same time, the national school should extend a helping hand to the disadvantaged student, irrespective of cultural or religious affiliation.

In a nutshell, there has to be a total transformation of the national school. The Ministry of Education, I am sure, is working towards this goal. It is a transformation which will have to be carried out in tandem with other fundamental changes to the education system as a whole.

For a start, let us try to reduce the impact of electoral politics upon education and national unity.

Source here.

Friday, 15 June 2012

YB Zul Nordin criticise the Bar Council in Parliament

A speech in Parliament by YB Zul Nordin on 12 June 2012 criticizing the Bar Council for being inconsistent in their stand:

And this here is another speech criticizing the many Setan Bisu MPs in the Pakatan of DAP, PAS and PKR:

I pray that YB Zul Nordin will still be an MP after the next GE.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Cheer up people, Malaysia is the top 20 most peaceful nation on earth

Here is something to cheer us peace loving Malaysians:

In the latest Global Peace Index 2012 we are No.20 from the top, yup you guys read it right we are in the top 20 of peaceful nations from 158 nations of the world.

"The world has become more peaceful for the first time since 2009, according to the 2012 Global Peace Index. All regions excluding the Middle East and North Africa saw an improvements in levels of overall peacefulness.

The 2012 GPI is the sixth edition of the world's leading measure of global peacefulness. Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the GPI ranks 158 nations using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators which gauge ongoing domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society and militarization."

The top 20:

Guess what friends, Malaysia is the most peaceful nation in Asean even and despite what those ungrateful gloom and doom citizens who thinks we are like Zimbabwe and have no qualms about bad mouthing this blessed country when they are overseas, this is still a great country to live in and the Barisan Nasional has done a good job of running this country and this is an undisputed fact.

Pity that those Bersih rioters led by the Opposition Pakatan and their ilks had to run amok in the streets of Kuala Lumpur on 28 April 2012 otherwise we will probably be at No 19 or 18 even.

I hope next time besides the FRU Riot Control Officers who are properly riot attired, the normal Polis officers who are tasked with controlling illegal street demonstrators are equipped with batons and proper protective gears so that they can control the crowd better while being protected themselves. The batons if used properly would deter even the most virulent violent provocateur and rioters, it'll make them think twice about trying to make trouble on the streets.

I miss the Internal Security Act which had kept troublemaking demonstrators off the streets of Malaysia. That's water under the bridge, but, nowadays a good baton used properly would do.

Peace = Money

Thursday, 7 June 2012


Something to remind me in this rat race life:

Before you spend, Earn

Before you
invest, Investigate (and research & more research)

Before you
criticise, wait (seek first to understand)

Before you
pray to God Almighty, forgive (and cleanse your heart)

Before you
quit, try (and try again)

Before you
retire, Save (and yes, the question is not at what age you retire, its at what income)

One more thing, and its very important that if you value your relationship, please remember:
Do NOT ask a question if you are not prepared to hear or do not want to know the answer.