Allow Lynas to continue in Malaysia? Kuantan MP says OK, but waste must still go

Fuziah Salleh speaks to reporters in Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 25, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Fuziah Salleh speaks to reporters in Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 25, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

IPOH, May 31 — While the government has agreed to let Lynas Corp continue its rare earth refinery in Gebeng, Pahang, Pakatan Harapan (PH) lawmaker Fuziah Salleh said the condition remains that the Australian miner must provide a proper solution for the disposal of its radioactive waste.

The Kuantan MP added that right now, there is none.

“This was also part of the pre-condition if Lynas wanted to renew its licence or continue its operation in the country,” she said in a statement today.

A deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Fuziah noted that Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin set the condition that Lynas must ship home its radioactive waste.

“I was also made to understand that Yeo will be going to Australia in June to discuss this matter further with the management of Lynas,” she added.

Fuziah said Lynas also agreed to the condition when it signed an agreement in 2012.

She said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also mentioned this yesterday when he announced in Tokyo, Japan that Lynas would be allowed to continue its US$800 million (RM3.4 billion) Malaysian operation.

But she noted that it was omitted by many news agencies.

“After going through the video of the interview, Dr Mahathir had also talked about the waste disposal issue thoroughly.

“Why wasn’t this highlighted in the news reports? By right all the aspects touched by him on Lynas should be reported so that it will give a balanced view and will avoid sensationalism in the reporting,” she said.

Fuziah reminded the public that the waste disposal issue should not be forgotten or compromised as this will become the main talking point in the decision of licensing and operation of Lynas in the future.