Wong Tack urges MACC to probe PMO officers over Lynas FAQ

Bentong MP Wong Tack has been a vocal critic of the rare earths plant.

PETALING JAYA: DAP’s Wong Tack is urging the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to probe officers in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for possible abuse of power and corruption following the release of the frequently-asked questions (FAQ) on Lynas.

Wong Tack, who has been an outspoken critic of the rare earths processing plant, said he does not believe that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad would allow his office to “be degraded to a sales office” and his officers relegated to “become a mouthpiece of Lynas”.

“Therefore, it is imperative we identify those irresponsible officers who have abused and humiliated the highest office in the country,” the Bentong MP said in a statement.

Wong Tack claimed that it was obvious those behind the FAQ were intending to legitimise the operations of a foreign corporation, which “over the years had failed to comply with our laws, rules and regulations”.

On Wednesday, the PMO listed three consequences of the non-renewal of Lynas’ operating licence, including the loss of over 600 Malaysian jobs and the failure to smash China’s monopoly on the export of rare earths.

The other consequence, it said, in an FAQ on Lynas, was that Malaysia’s credibility as a business-friendly country for long-term investments would be negatively affected.

The 14-point infographic, citing information from the energy, science, technology, environment and climate change ministry, also said data and reports by government agencies and experts showed that Lynas’ operations in its plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, in Pahang, was controlled and safe.

Lynas’ critics, including members of the Pakatan Harapan-led administration, had in the past accused the rare earths plant of polluting its surroundings with its waste.

In the FAQ, the PMO also said that Lynas had fulfilled all legal requirements set by the authorities and met several international standards, including those for health, safety and the environment.

Lynas had been embroiled in controversy for several years, with environmentalists and some Pakatan Harapan politicians protesting against its plant on health grounds and calling for its closure.

On Aug 15, Putrajaya agreed to renew Lynas’ licence to operate in the country for another six months subject to several conditions.