Wong Tack firmly against Lynas, says PM must be strict on licence renewal

(The Star) – I may be with the government but I remain opposed to the Lynas plant, says Bentong MP Wong Tack.

“Less than a month ago, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Lynas’ radioactive waste must be shipped out.

“Now, Dr Mahathir is saying we should renew the licence but it must be with strict conditions that the radioactive waste is shipped out,” said Wong Tack.

The activist-turned-politician, who led protests against the plant in the past, was commenting on the statement by Dr Mahathir in Japan on Thursday (May 30) that Lynas would be allowed to continue operating in Gebeng, Kuantan.

He said Lynas could operate in the country as long as raw materials coming to Malaysia were cleaned.

Wong Tack further questioned Lynas’ licence renewal.

“How could we renew the licence of an operator who had failed to adhere to the laws of this country?

“We (Pakatan Harapan government) say we uphold the rule of law, so no one should be above it.

“For the last six years, Lynas failed to comply with the legally binding agreement on the disposal of radioactive waste.

“The Prime Minister must only renew its licence with the strict condition that the waste is shipped back to where it came from,” Wong Tack said.

The radioactive waste from the Lynas plant in Kuantan has been a source of contention among residents and activists who fear radiation exposure.

Lynas mines rare earths at Mount Weld in Western Australia and currently ships the concentrated material to an US$800mil processing plant in Malaysia, where it stores thousands of tonnes of waste.