KUANTAN: With just days left to go before the announcement on the future of Lynas Malaysia, employees of the rare earth materials producer have turned to prayers for divine intervention.
Workers at the rare earth processing plant in Gebeng congregated at the Sultan Ahmad Shah Mosque in the town centre with other members of the community in a special prayer session on Wednesday night.
Lynas Malaysia human resources senior manager Jumaat Mansor said they pray together every week but this time had invited the community as well as students from schools around Kuantan.
“The expiry of our operating licence is coming soon and our future is still uncertain. So we are praying for the best outcome. Turning to God is a last resort, ” he said.
The programme also included a lecture on slander.
Also present were state Islamic affairs, education and health committee chairman Datuk Seri Syed Ibrahim Syed Ahmad and PAS’ Beserah assemblyman Andansura Rabu.
Andansura, who once fought against Lynas, said he might have been wrong about the operations of the rare earth plant.
“Our objection then was based on historical reference to the incident in Bukit Merah, Perak, and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. However, I have monitored Lynas’ operation throughout the years and realised I might be wrong.
“Lynas has run its factory without any effect on residents. Furthermore, it is under very stringent monitoring by the authorities.
“I hope those who are still fighting Lynas can discard their ego and come back to reality. We have to accept our assumption was wrong and it’s time for us to move forward, ” he said.
On May 30, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Lynas would be allowed to continue operating in the country.
But Lynas had also been told to present its plan on dealing with its rare earth processing waste.
Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin reportedly said an announcement on Lynas Malaysia’s licence renewal status would be made by Aug 15.
She also said the Cabinet had taken into account public safety and arrived at a decision.
Lynas’ operating licence is due to expire on Sept 2.