KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 ― Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh has decided to stop being the chairman of committee reviewing the operations of the Lynas rare-earths plant in order to speak out freely and cut off allegations of bias by the firm.
Fuziah, who is also a deputy minister, said she would otherwise not be able to comment on the rare earth plant in Kuantan, Pahang.
“I do not want Lynas to use me to divert attention from the issue (radioactive waste)... If I remain in the committee, I will not be able to provide comments to the media and the public.
“When I am no longer chairman, it will be easier for me to make comments and fight from the outside. If I am inside (part of committee), I can't talk as they will question me,” she was quoted saying by local daily New Straits Times.
Fuziah said she has informed the Cabinet of her decision, adding that her replacement will be announced by Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin.
Fuziah also said Lynas management has been saying that the rare earth refinery's activities had low radiation, but argued that the company should not leave the alleged radioactive waste in Malaysia.
“I challenge them (Lynas), if they claim it (radioactive waste) is safe, then send it to Australia,” she said.
Lynas Malaysia had earlier this week however said that it did not produce any toxic or radioactive waste.
It said that its rare earth refining activities produces two forms of gypsum as by-products, namely an iron-rich phosphogypsum (WLP) with very low levels of naturally occurring radiation and a non-radioactive material known as magnesium-rich gypsum known as NUF.