Foreign minister confident Cabinet’s decision on Lynas extension made responsibly

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during an interview in Putrajaya April 22, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during an interview in Putrajaya April 22, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUANTAN, Aug 23 — Indera Mahkota MP Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah is confident that the Cabinet has taken into account all considerations before deciding to extend the operating licence of Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Lynas).

He said that the decision would definitely have been made after referring to scientific findings as well as experts in the related field, and he personally agreed with it.

“I understand that there are differences of opinion on this issue, including from my friends and those from my party. But as being part of a team, I adhere to the decision made by the Cabinet.

“I think (the decision) was made based on reasonable considerations,” he told reporters after attending a National Day celebration held at the Chung Hwa Secondary School (SM) here today.

Saifuddin, who is also foreign affairs minister, said he had visited the rare earth processing plant in Gebeng here, and found many locals working there. The Lynas plant is located in the Indera Mahkota parliamentary constituency.

On August 15, the government announced that the operating licence for Lynas which was to expire next month, was extended another six months, on condition of finding a permanent disposal site for the water leach purification (WLP) residue it produced.

On another note, Saifuddin, who is also the Pakatan Harapan secretariat chief, said he hoped that people in the country would stop squabbling among one another, especially during the National Month.

“We need to promote unity as people with a spirit of mutual respect. I don’t think we are still in a position to question who came from where or who came first? We have long gained Independence and lived in peace and harmony,” he said.

Saifuddin also hoped that the first batch of 90 SM Chung Hwa students who will sit for the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) this October, would obtain outstanding results.

“I understand that there is still an issue about UEC recognition. I personally have long believed that we should recognise the UEC. In the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, we have stated that we will do so. However, there are still certain things to be negotiated on, and I believe the issue can be settled well,” he said.

SM Chung Hwa, a private Chinese type school with 660 students and 62 teachers, operates a dual-stream education system where its students sit for the UEC exams, Form 3 Assessment (PT3) and Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM). — Bernama

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