Lynas can continue in Malaysia, subject to conditions, says PM

Lynas can continue operating if it can promise the raw material from Australia will be brought here after cracking and cleaning it up, says Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

PUTRAJAYA: Lynas can continue operating in Malaysia on condition the raw material it brings in from Australia is decontaminated first, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

He said Malaysia had undertaken to open up the rare earths mining business to other companies and there are other companies willing to buy up or somehow acquire Lynas.

“They have given us a promise that in future, before sending the raw material to Malaysia, they will clean it up first. They will crack (a refining process) and decontaminate it somewhere with regards to radioactivity.

“This is so that when the raw material comes here, the (radioactive) content is less and the waste from the raw material is not dangerous to everybody.

“Even Lynas can continue operating if they can promise the raw material from Australia will be brought here after cracking and cleaning it up,” he said during a press conference at his office here today.

Mahathir was responding to a question on whether the Cabinet had discussed Lynas’ operations and if the rare earth mining company will be allowed to continue operating.

Lynas recently criticised members of the parliamentary caucus on Lynas for not turning up for a briefing on its operations despite being invited to do so.

In a statement, it said all but one member had either declined or failed to respond to its invitations which were delivered by hand.

Lynas also previously said it had invited Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin to the plant eight times without receiving a response.

Meanwhile, to another question on Suhakam’s findings that police were behind the disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat, Mahathir said fresh investigations will take place, but under a new inspector-general of police (IGP).

“We will open a new investigation. But to do that, we will wait because the accusations are directed at the present IGP.

“Wait until the change of IGP and we will set up a group to study whether there is substance in the hearsay evidence by the Suhakam inquiry,” he added.

Suhakam declared Koh and Amri victims of “enforced disappearances” on Wednesday, blaming Bukit Aman’s Special Branch for their abductions after its inquiry which heard testimonies from some 40 witnesses.

Pressure has since been mounting for action to be taken against top police officers, including outgoing IGP Mohamad Fuzi Harun, who headed the Special Branch when the abductions took place.

Koh was abducted on Feb 13, 2017, in Petaling Jaya, while Amri went missing on Nov 24, 2016, after leaving his home in Perlis.

Koh’s abduction was caught on CCTV, showing what looked like professionally-trained men stopping his car on a busy street. However, the police strongly denied suggestions that it was carried out by their men.