Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tsunami over FELDA

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If my friend, Pirate of Putrajaya, had been a little bit more patient, he will find his views on the FGV vindicated. Probably he underestimated the will of the government to use GLCs under its control to shore up the FGV price.

Nevertheless, his views will be vindicated soon and I and millions of others hope he will come back into blogosphere to share with us, his rapier sharp analyses.

What Najib is doing right now is just putting out fires. He forgot that it all needed but a single spark to light up the prairie fire.

He has given advance bribe of RM15,000 each to felda family. I hear, full payment hasn’t been given out yet. Perhaps felda will use its gain of RM5.99 billion to pay the balance of what has been promised by Najib. 
Felda pays unto itself using its own money. He has given almost RM43 million as raya bonus. Each family got around RM382. That amount was useful to buy cookies, lemang , fresh meats and maybe new curtains for the missus. 

Malaysian Rare Earth Plant Shoots for October Operation

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As environmentalists, political opposition plan further action, Australian company gets on with it
The Lynas Corporation rare earths processing plant in Malaysia expects to start processing ore in October, according to an email from the Sydney headquarters of the Australia-based company. 

“We look forward to the safe commencement of operations at the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant,” the spokesman said.

Barring additional legal action to stop it, and depending on how quickly the plant, in an industrial estate in Gebing near the Pahang state city of Kuantan can gear up to full production, the decision last week to grant the license is expected to make Malaysia a major force in the production of rare earths, minerals used in a long list of high-tech products. Almost all of the ore being produced globally today is exported from China, which has sharply curtailed its production since 2010 because of devastating environmental problems. Chinese 2012 industrial production growth is averaging only 10.5 percent, well below the average growth rate of 14.7 percent annually over the past 10 years. The country exported 3,046 tonnes of rare earth ores, metals and compounds in the first four months of 2012, down 43 percent year-on-year, according to the Lynas quarterly report. However, slackening global industrial activity has kept prices down.

The United States stopped rare earths production two decades ago, although the skyrocketing prices of the minerals has led to plans to reopen mines on the California-Nevada border.

More than 1,300 employees have been working at the Gebing plant, according to Lynas’s second-quarter financial report, without being able to process any ore. Environmentalists, in league with the Pakatan Rakyat political opposition, have vowed to blockade the ships that bring the ore some 4,000 km from Australia’s west coast for processing at the sprawling plant.

The plant has been bitterly opposed by environmentalists and has become a political cause célèbre for the opposition coalition, with rallies all over the country. Approval had been pending for more than a year while it was shuffled from government department to department. Lynas received a temporary operating license on Feb. 1, only to have it appealed, then appealed a second time. 

In the meantime, a mountain of, more than 13,000 dry tonnes of concentrate containing more than 4,800 tonnes of rare earth ores has been building for months at the company’s Mount Weld mining facility in Western Australia, the company said. Construction of Phase 1 of the plant was completed during the second quarter of 2012, with overall progress 64 percent complete at the end of June, according to the company’s second-quarter report, with construction of phase 2 to be completed by early 2012.

The protesters say they fear that Malaysia’s inability to police its environmental laws could end up with the waste byproducts from the plant leaching into the water table or drifting into the atmosphere. 

Lynas previously told Asia Sentinel it has poured nearly A$800 million and seven years into getting approvals for the plant. The issue has become so sensitive because a rare earth plant developed in the 1980s ended up contaminating air and groundwater at Bukit Merah near Ipoh. Several people were treated for various cancers because of the plant and later died. Mitsubishi Chemical Corp, which developed the plant, has spent an estimated US$100 million in the effort to clean up the environmental disaster. 

However, Lynas spokesmen say, there is no danger because the ore being processed doesn’t have anywhere near the radioactivity that the Bukit Merah plant produced.

According to the British Geological Survey, the 17 elements grouped together as “rare earths” have become essential for advanced manufacturing of a wide range of technological items. They include neodymium, used to make magnets for computer drives and loudspeakers, components in wind turbines and hybrid cars; lanthanum, used for carbon lighting applications such as studio lighting as well as camera and telescopic lenses. 

Cerium is used in the manufacture of catalytic converters for car exhausts. Praseodymium is used to strengthen metals in aircraft engines. Gadolinium is Used in X-ray and MRI scanning systems, and also in television screens. Research is also being done into its possible use in developing more efficient refrigeration systems. Yttrium, terbium and europium are important in making televisions and computer screens and other devices that have visual displays. Europium is also used in making control rods in nuclear reactors. 

Dibaling-baling, Dicangkung-cangkung

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Sezalim-zalim Mahafiraun, dia tak bawak keluar tongkat semambu diawal tempoh kekuasaannya. Taring juga disorok baik-baik.  Seawal penggal pertama dia duduk di singgahsana kuasa aku and the mandi-sungai-gang langsung tak ambik pot pasal dia. Tak ada minat nak menyampah menyumpah haramjadah kat dia.

Ketika itu orang tau Mahafiraun dah jadi PM dan rata-rata reaksi rakyat marhaen ialah, “OK lah tu, pandai-pandai la dia buat kerja”, “Hansem la, macam Hindustan” atau “pegi mampus la dia, aku pun ada kerja nak buat” atau pun “Eh? Side-burn panjang tu, Melayu ke?”.

Mahafiraun ini pandai, penggal pertama dan kedua dia tak buat hal. Mahafiraun cuma mula mengapor dan merembat besar-besaran bila dia dah pandai berkawan dengan lawyer, berkawan dengan tauke  ekor dan juga bila anak-anaknya makin besar dan dah kenal botol samsu San Miguel. Itu jam muka Mahafiraun semakin kelat hilang seri dan semakin palat dan mempalat sampai kehari ini.

Dan seingat aku kerja Mahafiraun cuma satu, menyeragamkan waktu Semanjung dengan waktu Sabah Sarawak.

Tapi kini kita rakyat marhaen ini nak tumpang mengekek, nak tumpang pecah perut dan nak tumpang ketawa guling-guling la kalau satu penggal pun blom habis, dah ada org nak tumpang berak atas muka. Perkara berak kencing ini bukan memain wey… Kalau bukan tanda org tak suka, tanda apa Iagi gamaknya?

Kalau dah macam ini, layak duduk diatas singgahsana berpenggal-penggal lagi? Siang malam pagi petang, dari subuh membawa ke subuh jadi bahan cerca bahan lawak.

Kesian bukan tak kesian. Ini bukan sebarang salasilah. Salasilah bagus. Salasilah bangsawan. Salasilah pelaut tersohor di alam Melayu raya.

Tapi itulah dia, kalau Tuhan nak hina, kat dunia pun Dia dah tunjukkan. Bapak dibaling telur, diri nak diberak-berak orang dan anak ntah kemana hilang ghaib bakal lakinya.