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KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — A special parliamentary caucus committee tasked with monitoring Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s operations said it is shocked by a minister’s announcement that the rare earth plant’s operations will be continued.
This, said the committee in a statement, was because the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry had already said that Lynas should honour its contractual agreement to remove its water leach purification residue, before its operating licence expires on September 2, as well as cooperate with its Australian counterpart to return the waste to Lynas’ country of origin.
“We are very concerned with the government’s decision by the Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof on March 30, 2019, whereby the factory processing rare earths, Lynas Corporation Ltd (Lynas) will be continued as a means by the government to attract foreign investment in the country,” the committee said last night.
Redzuan had said the government has yet to decide whether the radioactive waste will be sent back to Australia.
It added that the statement was “shocking and in clear contradiction” of the stand and decision made by another ministry as well as a large number of MPs who are policymakers.
The committee said that it was not against foreign investment, but wanted to show political will in ensuring that any development should not have negative consequences on public health or the environment.
“We stress that the Lynas factory’s operations cannot continue as long as the conditions for waste management have not been upheld,” the committee added.
Members of the committee include DAP’s Bentong MP Wong Tack, PKR’s Merbok MP Nor Azrina Surip @Nurin Aina, Datuk Haji Hasanuddin bin Mohd Yunus - Hulu Langat (Amanah), Maria Chin Abdullah - Petaling Jaya (PKR), Wong Shu Qi - Kluang (DAP), Chan Ming Kai - Alor Setar (PKR), Khoo Poay Tiong - Kota Melaka (DAP), Datuk Hasbullah Osman - Gerik (UMNO-BN) and Haji Awang Hashim - Pendang (PAS).
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that the Cabinet will meet to decide once and for all the federal government’s stance on the management of Lynas’ radioactive waste.