PM: Cabinet to meet for final say on Lynas waste

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference on the world’s largest Ship-to-Ship Transfer Hub (STS Hub) in Putrajaya April 2, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference on the world’s largest Ship-to-Ship Transfer Hub (STS Hub) in Putrajaya April 2, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

PUTRAJAYA, April 2 — The Cabinet will meet to decide once and for all the federal government’s stance on the management of Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s radioactive waste, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

The prime minister said the Cabinet decision will be final, following confusion over recent conflicting statements on the rare earth refiner’s waste by two other ministers.

“We will answer that when we talk with the Cabinet, where there may be differences in opinions, but it is quite normal.

“But what is determined by the Cabinet is what is official,” Dr Mahathir told reporters after witnessing the signing of a joint development for a shipping hub in Johor between KA Petra Sdn Bhd and Hutchison Ports Holdings Ltd here.

Yesterday, Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan said the government has yet to decide whether to send back the radioactive waste to Australia or not.

Redzuan’s announcement was contrary to Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin who last December said Lynas should honour its contractual agreement to remove its water leach purification residue, before its operating licence expires on September 2.

Yeo’s deputy Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis reiterated her remarks as reflective of the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry yesterday, and claimed the government had expressed interest in cooperating with their Australian counterpart to return the waste to Lynas’ country of origin.