Fuziah promises ‘open and transparent’ review of Lynas

Deputy minister Fuziah Salleh, who will be heading the committee to review the Lynas project.

PETALING JAYA: A deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department today promised an “open and transparent” review of the Lynas plant in Kuantan.

Fuziah Salleh, a long-time critic of the rare earth plant, said the present government believed in transparency.

“The review panel will ensure the policies of the present government on sustainable development are being adhered to,” the Kuantan MP, who will be heading a committee to review the project, said in a statement.

Earlier today, Lynas Malaysia asked for any review to be procedurally fair, scientific and transparent.

Lynas chief executive Amanda Lacaze called for the review committee to be independent, with the technical skills to make informed judgments and a clearly defined scope and terms of reference. All inquiries, she added, must be open and public.

Fuziah said the review on Lynas will be guided by principles based on sustainable development as well as sustainable investments.

Central to the review, she said, will be the Radioactive Waste Management Plan (RWMP) as it is a very pertinent issue.

The committee, Fuziah added, will also be looking into the health, social and environmental impact of the platn.

“Reports from previous review committee, such as the Parliamentary Select Committee, as well as recommendations by IAEA will also be considered,” she said referring to the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency.

“Other aspects of the review will also look into decisions by the previous government and its chronology.”

Fuziah also said the committee also welcomed Lynas’ suggestion that the hearings be open to the public.

Yesterday, the Malaysia Australia Business Council (MABC) also said any review of Lynas’ rare earths plant must be objective in the interests of maintaining investors’ confidence.

The plant has long been opposed by green groups over concerns that it produces dangerous radioactive waste.

Lynas said its plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, had been reviewed twice by the IAEA, in 2011 and 2014. In both reviews, Lynas had implemented all of IAEA’s recommendations.