Investor confidence not affected by Govt decision on Lynas Malaysia, says Minister

KUALA LUMPUR: The license renewal conditions imposed on Lynas Malaysia will in no way dampen the confidence of foreign investors, says Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Chang Lih Kang.

He said the government had never shut down Lynas' operations but only rejected its application to remove the licence renewal conditions set in 2020.

"What we are doing today, is to reaffirm what we imposed in 2020.

"There are no new conditions imposed on Lynas.

Some have questioned whether the conditions will dampen foreign investors' confidence.

"So the answer is no," he said while wrapping up for his ministry on the motion of thanks on the Royal Address today (Feb 23).

Chang had previously announced the company must comply with terms imposed from 2020 so that cracking and leaching activities that produce radioactive waste would be done in Australia.

No cracking and leaching activities would be carried out at the Lynas plant in Gebeng here after July this year, said Chang.

The minister added the government had been consistent and had shown certainty in its policies and stand.

"If in the year 2020, we made a decision, but in 2023, we made another decision that is not the same in 2020, this would be seen as a flip flop.

"The flip flop is not good for the business community.

"That is why I said the decision will not affect investors' confidence," said Chang.

He added after his announcement, many more foreign investors had expressed interest in investing in the country.

"This is strong evidence investor confidence is not affected.

"This is because there is no element of surprise in the decision," he said.

He also confirmed receiving the appeal made by Lynas.

"We are still in the process of considering their appeal," added Chang.

Last week, Lynas Malaysia filed an appeal for a review of the conditions maintained in its operating licence renewal.

Lynas Rare Earths Ltd said its wholly-owned Malaysian subsidiary had appealed to the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister.

There were four conditions imposed when Lynas Malaysia received its three-year operating licence in 2020.

Among them was for Lynas to begin the process of developing a permanent disposal facility (PDF) within the first year from the date of the licence approval.

Lynas was also required to submit a work development plan for the construction of the PDF and report on its development status as determined by the AELB.

The company must ensure that a cracking and leaching plant outside Malaysia would be in operation before July 2023.

After that period, Lynas would no longer be allowed to import raw materials containing naturally occurring radioactive material into Malaysia.

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