PETALING JAYA: The composition of the committee set up to review Lynas Corporation’s rare earth project in Gebeng, Kuantan, are among factors critical in ensuring the nation’s reputation as a stable and open investment destination, says the Malaysia-Australia Business Council (MABC).
“The credibility of the review, which includes the composition of the review team and the terms of reference, is critical to ensure that it does not damage Malaysia’s reputation as a stable and open investment destination,” the council said in a statement here yesterday.
While the council acknowledged and did not dispute the government’s right to conduct a review of the operations, it said the review should be to assess any breaches of licences or for not meeting acceptable international standards.
“In the interests of maintaining investors’ confidence, any review into Lynas Malaysia should be public, transparent, objective and evidence-based,” the council said.
“The company should be provided with the opportunity to defend publicly its regulatory and environmental record since it commenced operations in 2012.”
The statement by MABC follows the council’s concerns over recent reports about a review of the operations of Lynas Malaysia, which has been producing high quality rare earth materials in Kuantan under extensive licensing conditions since September 2014.
“Malaysia has long been regarded as an attractive investment destination,” it said.
“This is because of the reliable legal framework; predictable economic and political environment; and openness to investment.”
MABC noted that Australian businesses had invested almost RM30bil in Malaysia as of end 2017 in several sectors including manufacturing, services, agribusiness, resources and the digital economy.
Last month, the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry announced that it would be setting up a committee to review Lynas’ operations.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh was appointed the chairman.
Her appointment to lead the review committee had raised concerns among several parties.