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Minister, deputy minister dispute reports on Mahathir’s Lynas statement

Yeo Bee Yin

Yeo Bee Yin

TheMole
Written by TheMole

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 2019 : Minister Yeo Bee Yin has disputed reports that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday said the government will allow Lynas Corp to continue rare earths refining operation at its plant in Gebeng near Kuantan.

Yeo, who is in charge of  energy, science, technology, environment and climate change insisted that Lynas will only be allowed to stay in the country if it resolves the issue of waste produced at its plant. 

 She also suggested that the reports on the prime minister’s statement may not have focused on his actual stand.

“Actually today I saw the (video) clip of Dr Mahathir’s interview, then I realised actually his position is, Lynas has to ship out its waste, his answer was very long, most of the time he was talking about waste, but unexpectedly the focus was blurred, so actually the government is still very concerned about the issue of waste,” she said in an interview last night.

 Yeo said the Cabinet had on Wednesday decided to let her meet with Australian government officials for talks regarding the Lynas issue.

She said the decision on whether the government is to allow Lynas to continue operations in Malaysia will be made after her meeting in Australia.

Dr Mahathir yesterday said the government will renew Lynas’ operating licence.

Meanwhile, deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh, who is a leading advocate for the closure of the Lynas plant accused the media of imposing a “black out” on Dr Mahathir’s statement which she insisted imposed the condition that the company must ship back its waste to Australia before its licence is to be renewed.

“I watched in detail the interview of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Japan on the Lynas issue.

 “The issue of the Lynas radioactive waste was explained in detail by the Prime Minister, but it was not reported by the media. The media only reported a part of the Prime Minister’s speech, which touched on the investment and licensing aspect only, without relating it to the radioactive waste,” said Fuziah, who is also the Kuantan member of parliament in a statement today. 

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