No application yet for Lynas permanent disposal facility, says Pahang MB

Pahang Menteri Besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail says the state government will listen to the opinions of experts.

KUANTAN: Rare earths processing company Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd has yet to submit a formal application for a specific location to set up a permanent disposal facility (PDF) for its water leached purification (WLP) residue in the state.

Menteri Besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said the state government has not had any discussion with Lynas pertaining to the PDF – one of the conditions imposed by the Cabinet for a six-month renewal Lynas’ operating licence from Sept 3.

“If there is a discussion or application, the priority of the state government will be the people’s safety. That part we are very clear.

“At the same time, this also involves the investment aspect as Lynas has invested up to billions in the country. We will look into all aspects of this issue. We want to hear experts’ opinions. If experts say Lynas is safe, then we will focus (on the site for the PDF).

“If not the experts, who else do we want to listen to? We are not experts in this area. It is certain that the state government will not do anything that is harmful to the people,” he said at the Pahang state asssembly sitting here today.

Wan Rosdy was replying to a supplementary question from Lee Chean Chung (PH-Semambu) on a news report that five probable locations in Pahang had been identified for the PDF – Lepar, Luit, Padang Tengku, Bukit Ibam and Chini.

He said Lynas, which operates its plant at the Gebeng industrial area, was an investment brought in by the previous government through the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida).

Wan Rosdy’s statement was supported by state Tourism, Environment, Plantation and Biotechnology Committee chairman Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin, who said the federal government had earlier proposed that Lynas operate in Pahang.

“So, now we wait for the federal government’s reply. If they say Lynas is safe, then it’s safe. The state government has no expertise like the federal government, which has various technical experts,” he said.

Sharkar said the technical experts include the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) and Malaysian Nuclear Agency “who are trained in the field of Lynas’ operation and radiation”.