PETALING JAYA: International trade and industry minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz has supported the government’s decision to bar Lynas Malaysia from importing and processing rare earths after July 1.
“As part of the government, we (his ministry) will continue to support all industries that are beneficial to the country,” he said at an event today.
He described an economist’s claim that the government’s decision could affect the confidence of foreign investors as “their view”.
“We have our own views, so we are open to suggestions,” the former finance minister said.
Last Tuesday, Shankaran Nambiar of the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research warned Putrajaya that its decision indicated that the government had a tendency to break its promises.
Tengku Zafrul said the government respected everybody’s comments, adding that everyone had different views on the economy.
“Some say economic growth will be in recession, some say it’s positive. So everyone can have their own views on things,” he said.
On Feb 14, Lynas announced that its operating licence had been renewed for three years with no change to the conditions set in 2020 by the Pakatan Harapan government.
These included stipulations preventing the company from importing and processing rare earth concentrates after July 1.
Lynas, which has a processing plant in Gebeng, Pahang, will be required to close its cracking and leaching facilities by that date.
Its CEO, Amanda Lacaze, has said the licences given to the company before 2020 did not include the conditions on the importing and processing of rare earths.