Lynas workers, contractors rally to demand fairness in govt’s review

Lynas supporters gather at the Petanque Arena in Balok Beach on Saturday.

PETALING JAYA: Lynas Malaysia supporters thronged the Petanque Arena at the Balok Beach in Kuantan, Pahang, on Saturday in a show of support for the company following Putrajaya’s move to review the rare earth plant which sparked fears it could be shut down.

The crowd, comprising Lynas Malaysia staff, contractors and the local community, gathered at the beach to urge Putrajaya to consider their plight as their jobs would be at risk if the proposed Lynas executive review committee acts on the demands of “certain politicians” to close the plant.

Supporters hold up placards urging the government and the prime minister to consider their plight.

The rally, which was organised by Lynas Malaysia employees, saw the crowd chant slogans like”Hidup Lynas” (Long Live Lynas) and appealed to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to help them.

Lynas Malaysia Solvent Extraction senior manager Khairul Suhaimi, 41, said he felt the need to hold the rally as he believed the company and its workers were being “bullied”.

Lynas Malaysia Solvent Extraction senior manager Khairul Suhaimi believes the company and its workers are being “bullied”.

“I urge the person running this review to act fairly and be transparent. We have no problem with a review into Lynas Malaysia’s operations because we abide by the rules, but we just want it to be fair,” he said at the rally.

Khairul, who has worked for Lynas since it began operations, said the plant is neither dangerous nor harmful to the residents in Kuantan.

Mohd Fairuz Kasmoin, the company’s financial accountant, said the government should treat Lynas like any other company or factory.

“I voted for this Pakatan Harapan government but now it has come back to bite me. I am quite disappointed,” the 32-year old said.

Last week, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh, a long-time critic of the rare earth plant, promised an “open and transparent” review of the Lynas plant in Kuantan.

“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 the committee to review the project, said in a statement.

Lynas Malaysia had previously asked for any review to be procedurally fair, scientific and transparent.