Zuraida says she will help Lynas find suitable site for waste disposal facility

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.

PEKAN: Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said today that her ministry would work with the Pahang government to find a suitable site for the Lynas’ rare earths processing company’s permanent disposal facility (PDF) to store its water leach purification (WLP) residue.

The government has renewed Lynas’ licence for another six months, but with three conditions.

Lynas will have to move its cracking and leaching process, which is currently conducted at its plant in Gebeng here, out of the country.

Lynas will also have to identify a specific site to construct a PDF and it will also have to end all research and development activities related to the use of the radioactive WLP residue as Condisoil for use in agriculture.

“This (extension of Lynas’ operating licence) is a Cabinet decision that was discussed and agreed upon.

“I am a Cabinet member, so I must follow the decision taken by the Cabinet,” Zuraida told reporters after attending a function here.

Lynas’ plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, has been mired in controversy with some quarters wanting it out of the country while others are all for it because of its economic spin-offs.

The company itself has repeatedly stated that it complies with all safety standards.

In KUANTAN, Beserah assemblyman Andansura Rabu said the conditions attached showed the government’s seriousness in addressing the issue.

As such, he called on all quarters to “stop the polemics” and give room to the company to comply with the conditions.

Meanwhile, the organisers of an anti-Lynas campaign, Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL), have not obtained permission from Kuantan Municipal Council (MPK) to hold a gathering at Taman Gelora on Sunday.

Kuantan police chief Mohd Noor Yusof Ali said MPK was the owner of the recreational park and the council has yet to approve the rally.

He said during a meeting with the organisers and their lawyers several days ago, police had informed them to obtain a permit for the rally from the council, as required under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012,

“The organisers haven’t obtained the approval yet,” he said.

As such, Noor reminded the organisers to comply with the requirement.

He said the anti-Lynas organisers will need to look for a new venue if they failed to obtain approval from MPK.

“I advise the parties involved not to break the law.”

SMSL chairman Tan Bun Teet claimed they had submitted their application to MPK two weeks ago but had not received any response yet.