KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 — Opponents of Lynas Corp said today they felt betrayed by Pakatan Harapan, after the prime minister confirmed the government is removing the requirement for the firm to repatriate its rare-earths waste as a precondition for its licence renewal.

Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) chairman Tan Bun Teet said that it was “ridiculous” for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration to make such a decision, and accused the PM of prioritising foreign investment over the well-being and safety of Malaysians.

“We are unable to go against the government. But we will remember today, and will send a message in [four] years’ time, and will urge all other voters to do the same,” Tan told Malay Mail, alluding to the 15th general election due no later than 2023.

“Some of these people in the government, they were riding on this issue (opposing Lynas) to get elected. Now the whole PH government will be a U-turn government, untrustworthy,” he added.

Tan said SMSL will hold a rally to protest the PH government’s decision on August 18 in Taman Gelora, Kuantan.

“We will hold a town rally, where the main message is for the government to behave, walk the talk and put people’s interests ahead of corporate interests,” he added.

Tan also claimed SMSL has tried to meet PKR, DAP and Amanah leaders to explain why they were against Lynas Corp, but could not obtain “consent” for the meeting.

Dr Mahathir said today the Australian mining firm has been directed to construct a permanent disposal facility (PDF) to treat the water leach purification (WLP) residue that is created from rare-earths processing at its facility in Gebeng, Kuantan.

Lynas Corp previously insisted that it won’t be able to export 450,000 tonnes of the water leach purification (WLP) residue, a by-product of their refinery operations, by September and offered to build the PDF as a compromise.