Come clean on Lynas

02 Dec 2018 / 16:20 H.

SINCE last week, it is as if the government insists on shifting goalposts when it comes to the Lynas Advanced Material Plant in Gebeng. Not only did the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (Mestecc) put the company into an academic review committee and public hearing, now Lynas is being delayed by pending approvals and an awkwardly established bipartisan caucus.

If this caucus idea goes through for a business that has not breached a single regulation, will we be doing it for other industries as well?

Will we have a caucus on illegal migrant labourers in plantation, manufacturing and construction companies? How about a caucus on the supposed third national car project? How about another one for cryptocurrency including the Harapan coin?

Apparently, Lynas needs permission from the Department of Environment to process the raw materials already imported to increase its output. Without this approval, Lynas production will be temporarily halted in December.

This is a ridiculous regulation akin to allowing Carlsberg to bring in extra barley and yeast, but not letting them make more beer. Seriously, do we do this for gas power plants as well?

The politicians could not convince the regulators to show Lynas as irresponsible, they could not get a committee of academics to find factual evidence of the danger of Lynas, so now they are delaying approval for the company and adding a caucus to review the academic review to make it go their way.

I’m asking this government, specifically Mestecc and its minister, Yeo Bee Yin, to come clean because this is getting rather ridiculous. If this is the way the government wants to move forward with new industries, emerging industries and even projects that have an impact on the environment, then apply it to all, not just Lynas.

Otherwise, it can only be construed as the government discriminating and sabotaging Lynas for being Lynas, and nothing else.

Hafidz Baharom

Kuala Lumpur

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