KUALA LUMPUR — September 4, 2019: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has taken the initiative to explain the rationale behind the government’s greenlight for Lynas Corporation to continue its operation early last month.
In an infographic that was published on its website today, the PMO debunked claims by critics of the rare-earth producer.
The infographic includes facts about the safeness of Lynas’ operation and the company’s compliance with all of Malaysia’s stringent minerals refining regulations.
“Based on the findings and reports done by government agencies and experts, it was found that Lynas’ operation since six years ago was safe and that its occupational radiation exposure was within permissible limit.
“It was also discovered that there has been no increment of radiation risks in the air, water and soil samples that were taken within 20 kilometres radius of the Lynas’ plant [in Gebeng, Kuantan],” read the infographics.
At press time, the infographic have yet to be published on the websites of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry as well as the Atomic Energy Licensing Board.
Lynas’ fate was in a limbo when Pakatan Harapan (PH) formed the government after winning the May 9 national poll last year.
It was only on August 16 that the government decided to extend its operating license until February 2020.
The verdict had bucked the sharp declining trend of Lynas’ share price that began early last month. Two days ago, the Australian stock exchange reported that Lynas’ share closed at AUS$2.45.
In the meantime, the company is required to build a permanent storage facilities for its residues and relocate its cracking and leaching facility in Malaysia to Western Australia within four years.
The government’s decision had angered Lynas’ critics whom, at an illegal protest in Kuantan three weeks ago, chastised PH’s politicians, accusing them of betraying their supporters who called for the closure of Lynas.
However, according to the PMO’s infographics, closing down Lynas will be bad for Malaysia’s economy as it affects the country’s credibility as an investment-friendly nation.
It also noted that the company’s operation in Malaysia is crucial in preventing China’s monopoly of the rare-earth industry.