KUALA LUMPUR: With its operating licence expiring on Sept 2, Lynas comes under intense spotlight when the Prime Minister was reported saying on Thursday (Aug 1) that Lynas has been directed to construct a permanent disposal facility (PDF) to treat the water leach purification (WLP) residue that is created from rare earth processing at its facility in Gebeng, Kuantan.
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said media reports quoting Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday morning have contradicted the previous statements by DAP, including its Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin that Lynas must send the toxic waste back to its country.
Quoting DAP's Bentong MP Wong Tack, who had over the past week called on those allowing Lynas to continue operating and permanently dispose its waste in Malaysia, to either resign or risk being labelled as traitors to the country, Dr Wee in his Facebook post asked: Following the announcement by the Prime Minister, will Wong Tack, Yeo Bee Yin and Fuziah Salleh (Kuantan MP) and the DAP leadership resign from their positions in government for misleading and cheating the people of their votes over the Lynas issue and betraying their Pakatan Harapan Manifesto.
"Or will they stay on and be labelled as traitors to the country, as suggested by Wong Tack on Wednesday (July 31)?"
The Lynas Advance Materials Processing Plant (Lamp) is near Kuantan, Pahang.
In December last year, Yeo told the management of Lynas to honour its commitment to remove its WLP residue from Malaysia.
She said there was no viable near-term solution to manage the accumulated residue in Lamp.
"There is continuous accumulation of two primary residues at the Lamp site, namely, WLP totalling 451, 564 tonnes and neutralisation underflow residue (NUF) totalling 1.113 million tonnes. I think you would have seen the "hills" of residue accumulated at Lamp.
"The risks to the surrounding communities and environment increases with the increasing amount of accumulated residue, as it is exposed to the threat of natural disasters such as flooding, " Yeo said in a Facebook post on Dec 13, 2018.
On June 19, Reuters reported that Yeo, who had in May, announced her visit to Australia in June to discuss with rare earth miner Lynas Corp's storage of radioactive waste from Lamp had delayed the trip, quoting the minister's spokesman.
Yeo was due to meet Bill Johnston, Western Australia state's minister for mines to discuss the removal of the radioactive waste from Malaysia.
Johnston said Western Australia will not accept the waste, Reuters reported, quoting Australian media reports in June.