KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — Pakatan Harapan must not allow Lynas Corp to retain its rare earth processing waste in the country, Bentong MP Wong Tack said today.
Reminding the ruling coalition of its manifesto pledge to protect the environment, he insisted that letting Lynas to store its processing waste here would expose the country to a possible repeat of the Asian Rare Earth disaster.
Citing the government’s strong stand against plastic waste in the country, he said this should apply even more to Lynas.
“If importers of contaminated plastic wastes are labelled as traitors to the country, what would the rakyat think of political leaders who allow this country to be the dumpsite for the huge amount of Lynas’s toxic radioactive waste?” he said in a statement.
Wong was responding to a report by The Straits Times earlier this asserting that Putrajaya will likely drop its requirement for the Australian miner to send home its rare earth processing waste as a precondition for its licence renewal due by September.
Instead, the Cabinet is reportedly considering letting Lynas build a permanent disposal facility in the country.
The DAP MP said he doubted the veracity of the report as the PH administration would not be “so darn foolish”.
The firm agreed to build the facility last year following the recommendation from the executive review committee appointed by the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry.
However, Minister Yeo Bee Yin then insisted that Lynas must export its waste back to Australia as a prerequisite for Lynas’s licence renewal.