Looking at Lynas alone, I think one would perceive that Malaysia is either a stupid or corrupt country.
I just read that Australia has refused to take back the waste generated by Lynas. But did this decision surprise us at all? To me, it was totally within my expectations and predictions.
I am no expert on exactly how dangerous the waste is. But I do know that it is dangerous enough for Australia not to have the rare earth plant established there. I do know that it is dangerous enough for Australians not to have the waste shipped back to their country.
I do know that there were a sufficient number of Malaysians who expressed concern over this plant and protested vehemently over its establishment.
But the previous government ignored everything and went ahead and allowed Lynas to operate here in Malaysia.
We thought the new government after May 9, 2018, would have taken immediate action. However, it has been a year and I have lost track of what precisely is being done.
Before Pakatan Harapan gained federal power, many Malaysians had high expectations that lots of issues would be resolved once the government changed hands.
But do we see this happening? Now, I even see conflicting statements being made on Lynas. Those who were previously vocal on this issue have also faded away.
So here is my question to the government: will Lynas be allowed to continue operating in Malaysia or not? If so, what is the plan to handle the waste? If the waste is benign, why did Australia refuse to take it back? If the waste is dangerous, what is the long-term plan for us to handle it?
Whatever the decisions, I hope the government will be straight and transparent with us. Sometimes, I can discern vested interests at work.
TK Chua is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.