The Gebeng Industrial Area near Kuantan where the Lynas Corporation Ltd's rare earth plant is located falls under the Indera Mahkota parliamentary constituency, and the MP is PKR's Azan Ismail.
Azan's voice is often loud in Dewan Rakyat when the Parliament sits deliberating national issues and drawing up new bills but the energetic PKR MP has been rather quiet in the Lynas issue.
Instead Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh has been on the forefront to stop the Lynas plant which sits in Azan's constituency.
Azan Ismail broke his silence yesterday, explaining why he has not taken the lead to champion issues in his own constituency.
Azan told The Mole, "Firstly I don't want to mislead the public by giving wrong facts. I am not a nuclear expert, so I take a stand not to give wrong facts and impressions to public especially over the nuclear or environmental aspect of it."
"I leave it to experts to make such evaluations so we can get better feedbacks,” he reasoned.
Azan said he is more focussed on real issues revolving Lynas such as the financial viability of the project and how it will affect the quality of life.
“As someone with financial background, I am comfortable being involved in things I am familiar with. From financial and economic standpoint, I think the project would only benefit the corporation and not the nation on the whole.
“My principle is simple. Every MP must know the issue and have enough facts to bring to the public so that it cannot be contested," Azan stressed, explaining his silence.
Azan was asked to comment on a blog post which highlighted his silence over the Lynas issue.
He also admitted that the anti-Lynas issue was not entirely free from politics.
“I will not deny it has political benefit, especially to Pakatan Rakyat, seeing how much support we have gathered following the issue.
“But on the downside, if the government decides not to continue with the project, we are also at risk of losing supporters too," Azan said, expressing his worry of a political backlash.
Azan denied not doing much as compared to his party member, Fuziah, saying that he had highlighted the issue as early as 2008 and had also included it in his election manifesto.
“Lynas is not a new issue. In fact I have even requested for the government to stop expanding the hazardous industry. I even spoke about it in Parliament,” he added.
Azan said the aspect which he highlighted did not garner media attention as it did not involve popular topics like 'environment' and 'nuclear'.
Azan said he did not mind other Pakatan leaders championing the issue as he subscribed to team work.
The former Pahang PKR deputy chairman quit all state PKR party positions in 2010 citing lack of confidence in the leadership.
Pahang PKR is led by former Beserah state assemblyman and Umno veteran Datuk Fauzi Abdul Rahman.