DAP’S six cabinet members will oppose renewing Lynas’ licence if the company would not repatriate its radioactive waste from its plant in Gebeng, sources said.
“The party position on Lynas is consistent and our cabinet members will state their views that Lynas’ licence should not be extended unless it presents a proper plan on how to deal with its waste,” sources told The Malaysian Insight at the end of a three-hour meeting of the party’s elected representatives last night.
“But ultimately, the decision lies with the prime minister,” said the sources.
On what DAP would do if Dr Mahathir Mohamad insists on renewing Lynas’ licence, a source said: “We’ll have to see what happens tomorrow”.
The cabinet is expected to discuss whether Lynas’ operating licence in Malaysia should be renewed.
The operating licence for the Lynas Advanced Material Plant in Pahang expires on Sept 2.
Prior to the elections, Pakatan Harapan had promised to halt Lynas’ operations in Malaysia which produces radioactive materials such as thorium and uranium.
Although a review committee had found the radioactive waste to be “low-level”, some leaders, including DAP’s Wong Tack and PKR’s Fuziah Salleh have maintained that Malaysia should not be made a “radioactive waste dumping ground”.
Lynas’ presence has also raised the spectre of the Bukit Merah incident in Perak. Twenty-five years after the Asian Rare Earth plant shut down, the authorities are still cleaning up the site contaminated by the thorium and uranium wastes its operations generated.
Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin has called on Lynas to honour its word to remove its water leach purification (WLP) residue from Malaysia.
But PH’s attempt to keep its election pledge was hampered last week by the prime minister, who said investors would be spooked if the government halted Lynas’ operations.
Aside from Yeo, DAP cabinet members are Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Transport Minister Anthony Loke, Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, and Human Resource Minister M Kulasegaran.
Meanwhile, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng after the meeting told reporters to “wait for the statement” tomorrow.
“We had a very good meeting where we exchanged views frankly and also spoke to some MPs. The Lynas issue will be handled by Yeo,” said Lim, before rushing off.
Lim declined to respond on the party line on Lynas.
Yeo also asked reporters to “wait for the statement”.
“We have discussed this issue and the relevant agency will announce the cabinet decision on August 15 as said earlier. I will also issue views on the statement on August 15,” she said. – TMI