FUKUOKA — Aug. 8, 2019: Malaysia cannot force Lynas to leave Malaysia after having invited the Australian rare earth minerals company to invest in the country just because some people do not want to accept findings by experts.
In this regard, Lynas has invested more than RM1 billion in Malaysia but the processing of the rare earth minerals is said to produce radioactive waste.
Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad pointed to studies by experts that indicate that what Lynas produces is very low-level radioactive waste and not hazardous to health and he believes there is a way to further reduce the low-level radioactivity.
“We invite them (to invest) and then we kick them out? Others will say the country made a promise but when there is a problem we kick them out… we cannot do that,” Mahathir remarked to Malaysian reporters while concluding his two-day visit here.
“If we chase out Lynas, the others (foreign investors) will not come (to Malaysia). Because there are some (investors) whom we do not like… we ask them (investors) to leave. Who would want to come; they must have certainty,” he said.
Mahathir further said that if the radioactive waste is dangerous, the workers of Lynas comprising about 600 locals will fall sick.
“The report was made by experts but there are quarters who do not accept their decision. This poses a problem, if we ask the experts to make the study but we reject it. What is the purpose of asking the experts to make the study?” he asked.
In addition to losing the investment, the local workers would also lose their jobs if Lynas were to be closed, said Mahathir.
“The 600 workers are our people. They are not afraid; they ask (the operations) to be continued.” — Bernama