Anwar says backs Lynas review

Anwar said the government should call for a review of the decision. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Anwar said the government should call for a review of the decision. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has backed calls to review the government’s decision on the renewal of Lynas Corp’s operating licence here. 

Anwar’s remarks are a departure from those of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who has continued to defend his decision to allow the rare earth miner to operate here.

He said the government should call for a review of the decision.

“I believe we can, and should allow negotiations to take place,” he said today after meeting Federal Territories Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders.

Anwar was among three notable faces of the then-Pakatan Rakyat (PR) who signed a pledge in 2012 to shut down Lynas’ rare earth refinery when they were part of the Opposition.

The other two who signed the pledge were DAP’s then-Parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

The three were among the 13 PR leaders — some of whom are now in Cabinet — whose signatures were canvassed during the Harvest of Hope for Malaysia campaign in 2012.

Among other ministers include Mohamad Sabu (now defence minister), Lim Guan Eng (now finance minister), Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali now (economic affairs minister) and Khalid Abdul Samad (now Federal Territories minister).

“I am supporting the attempts to seek a rapport with the government and to call for a review of the decision.

“But I think it should be done amicably and through a meaningful and effective negotiation between us and the government,” Anwar added, referring to the public.

Calls to review the decision on the renewal of Lynas’ operating licence here came after the Cabinet recently decided to extend Lynas’ current permit to operate its refinery by six months.

The permit was originally set to expire on September 2.

This decision came with the condition that Lynas’ waste material must be moved abroad.

Lynas will also need to construct a permanent disposal facility (PDF) in Pahang to deal with the 580,000 tonnes of waste material currently stored within its refinery.