Thursday, 30 June 2011

Conscientious Contentions

Why is Keith Bradsher* busybodying in a Malaysian’s affair?

He wrote: “But the construction and design may have serious flaws, according to the engineers, who also provided memos, e-mail messages and photos from Lynas and its contractors.

There’s more: “An engineer involved in the project said that the blueprints called for the plastic waterproofing but that he was ordered to omit it, to save money. The plastic costs $1.60 a square foot, he said.

Bradsher has been writing some critical expose on a major FDI for the state of Pahang which had caused** some people some mighty headaches.

Allegations such as the above should not be aired so openly, Mr Bradsher.

That’s not the way we do things here. Nope. We prefer to do loads of “kajian” (Research? Studies?) before putting on a huge smile and say everything is “Okay”. If it’s not, then we’ll do a fair bit more of kajians until it is.

All this talk about the rare earth plant being a contamination risk is causing undue alarm on the populace. Now, some of them have gone on and protested against the whole project.

Perhaps if you had not written way back in early March on the same matter then the furore would have been more subdued and the plant would be up and running faster than you can say, say, Bukit Merah.

What’s in it for you, really? I mean, not even our mainstream journalists here are probing too deeply into such an outwardly, rosy-looking project that is worth much, much moolah to the country.

What? There’s a 12-year tax holiday, you say? Hmm....

Well there is that 0.05 percent research grant per revenue and the, ahem, spill-over impact on the surrounding area’s economic wellbeing.

Your article have now gone on to open a can of worms right before the authorities could announce today the results of an independent international review of the plant. (See **)

What if someone – would anyone, though? - asks the abovementioned points and there is no answer?

More headaches. Sleepless nights. Un, ahem, CLEAN-shaven days.

* Keith Bradsher is the Hong Kong bureau chief of The New York Times. Wonder where he gets his sources from? Pretty close to the project to get such delicate info.

** Had caused are the definitive words as the Menteris announced the Independent Panel okaying of the project with some 11 recommendations. Not sure if these addresses the concerns you've raised, though...

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