I just knew it...
I feel sorry for them...
here some of the story....
taken from internet....for EHS actually...
The story started in 1979; Mitsubishi Chemical, or Mitsubishi Kasei, set up a joint venture company with a Malaysian company BEH Minerals and Lembaga Urusan dan Tabung Haji called Asian Rare Earth (
ARE) in . The Japanese company has been attracted to Malaysia by a series of facilities and incentives offered by the Malaysian government to the foreign companies to invest in Malaysia . Malaysia
Asia Rare Earth's purpose was to extract rare-earth from monazite in the town of
( Bukit Merah ), in the state of Perak, which used to be a tin mining and farming area before. Rare-earth elements are incorporated into many modern technological devices, including superconductors, miniaturized magnets, electronic polishers, refining catalysts and hybrid car components. Based on the chemical and technical course of action in extracting rare-earth; this process results in generating radioactive wastes which has been agreed to be possessed by the Perak State Government in 1982. The Perak government selected a site at Parit as the storage dump for the radioactive waste. Lake Town
A survey which has been made by
SAM in 1982 shocked the nation where based on the survey's results; there were no facilities for dumping the radioactive wastes and the local authorities had no knowledge of the toxic wastes. These results showed up a gap in the Environmental Quality Regulations in which there was not any specific regulation on dumping or handling such hazardous wastes.
The local parliament member, representative of resident committees and
SAM appealed to the government and Sultan of Perak (King of the Perak state) to withdraw the plan, but silence was maintained by the authorities ( SAM, 1984). Later the plan in Parit was withdraw, but a new storage site was constructed in Papan. Before the storage site was built, the radioactive waste was store at the temporary open site near the factory at Bukit Merah. Investigation by SAM on the temporary site showed that the highest radiation level was 87.6 times above the permissible level ( SAM, 1984). Another visiting scientist, Dr Edward P. Radford, highlighted the concern with airborne exposure radiation to the local residents within one kilometer radius from the factory ( SAM, 1984).
Since the operation of
ARE in 1982, the health situation of the Bukit Merah's residents has been worsen and regrettably, no environmental impact assessment has been carried out by ARE. Another shocking truth showed itself through the blood examination of the Bukit Merah's Children in 1987 and 1989 where about 39% of them suffered from a triad of mild lymphadenopathy, congestion turbinate and recurrent rhinitis. The situation worsened when two children of 5 and 7, were diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 1989.
The combination of all the above elements resulted in a large demonstration and filling of a complain by the residents of Bukit Merah New Village against the harmful effects of
ARE's radioactive waste on Bukit Merah's residents' health to the High Court of Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. They demanded the termination of the plant's operation, clean-up of the radioactive materials and payment for the damages. The first court case had resulted in ordering ARE to suspend its operation in 1985. However, in 1987, the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) granted license for ARE to resume its operation despite the legal process which was still undergoing against it.
Local resident in Bukit Merah formed and funded own NGO, the Perak Anti-Radioactivity Committee with the assistance from environmental NGOs including
SAM and CAP. With the networking strategies from the NGO network, the issues have been highlighted internationally including . On top of the NGOs network, the coalition also worked closely with media for the publicity of the event. Japan
Based on the importance of the issue and the global publicity for this case; a campaign to stop
ARE's operations was started in . In April 1990, Japanese group " Japan , Japan Asia, Africa and Latin America Solidarity Committee" started a signature campaign calling for the shutdown of ARE. This campaign had badly damage the image of Mitsubishi Chemical and even the Japanese government has sent the warning to Mitsubishi.
In 1994, ARE declared its facilities in Bukit Merah to be shut down claiming due to difficulties in obtaining local monazite, and competition from rare earth producers incorporated in foreign countries, especially
. However, there have been a number of assumptions on the reality behind ARE's decision in shutting down its facilities such as the virulence of the local opposition to the factory, saving Mitsubishi's face and/or to secure an award of costs and, the highly negative opinion of the public towards ARE because of the international campaign against it. China
The case of
for more info, klik here
it is a good example of case study for waste management...