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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 — A frequently answered questions (FAQ) infographics from the Prime Minister’s Office about the licence extension for Lynas Malaysia was an abuse of power as the matter was outside its purview, Bentong MP Wong Tack alleged today.
The outspoken anti-Lynas campaigner called the FAQ an “insult” to the Energy, Science, Technology, Climate Change and Environment Ministry (MESTECC) as it is the rightful authority in the matter.
“Previously we saw certain ministries flying here and there, interfering with matters not under their purview.
“To our surprise, we now see the same thing from the prime minister’s office (PMO),” Wong said in a statement today.
However, Wong said it was unlikely that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was personally involved in the matter, asserting that it was more likely the work of “irresponsible” officers from the latter’s office.
The DAP lawmaker said it was imperative to identify the officers involved, insisting that their actions have demeaned the position of the prime minister.
“It is obvious their actions were intended to legitimize the operations of a foreign corporation, who over the years had failed to comply with our laws,” he added.
He then urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the PMO officials responsible for possible abuse.
On Wednesday, the PMO issued a FAQ addressing the Cabinet decision to grant the Australian firm a six-month extension to its operating licence pending its proposal for a permanent disposal facility in Malaysia.
The Pakatan Harapan government previously insisted that Lynas must remove its rare-earths processing waste from Malaysia to continue operating here but has since dropped this requirement.
Dr Mahathir has repeatedly said Malaysia could not cast out Lynas over unfounded fears as this would hurt the country’s standing among global investors.
Wong campaigned on an anti-Lynas platform during the general election and has been accused of betraying his constituents as a result of the government’s change of mind on the firm.