Lynas rare-earth plant important to Malaysia: Australian High Commissioner

19 Sep 2018 3:41 PM | Philip (Administrator)

KUANTAN: Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, Andrew Goledzinowski believed that Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lynas) in Gebeng should not be shut down as it has contributed a lot in terms of providing jobs and improving the local economy.

Describing it as a tragedy if Lynas was to cease operation, he said many people would lose their jobs and Pahang's reputation as an investment-friendly state would also be affected.

Goledzinowski said Lynas has created about 600 jobs, not including thousand others that were indirectly involved with the Gebeng plant.

“I want to make sure that Lynas continues to grow and creates more jobs for Malaysians. I don't think Lynas will close down or else it will be a tragedy....people will then say politics is more important than science.

“Lynas is a pioneer in Malaysia and its success story will inspire other companies from Australia to come here.

"Once a company is successful then the others will show interest. But if one fails, then everyone else will know about it... In fact, we have another business investment coming from Australia this week,” he told reporters after a high-tea session with Lynas management staff and village headman from Beserah here.

Goledzinowski was commenting on the recent news report about a review on Lynas' operation set to be carried out by a committee under the Pakatan Harapan government.

The Energy, Green Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Ministry had recently identified the rare earth refinery plant as one of several "environmentally risky" projects which needed a review.

He said during a recent meeting, Energy, Green Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin had given her assurance that any decision made by the government would be based on facts and evidences.

He said Yeo had also relayed her intention to visit Lynas in October for a briefing and that he was looking forward to it.

“To date, Lynas is the most reviewed and investigated plant in Malaysia and I do not think that another review will be a problem as long as it is factually supported.

"It is the rights of the new government to do a review (on Lynas) and Lynas has to take part in it.

“On my side, I hope the media and public will be able to be given access to what is happening as it will not only assure transparency but also raise awareness about Lynas and its activities.

"(After all) Lynas is one of Australia’s most vital business in Malaysia,” he said.

It was reported that Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh, who is also the Kuantan member of parliament and Bentong member of parliament Wong Tack would be leading a committee set up to review the Lynas project.

In his speech earlier, Goledzinowski said the rare earth mineral could only be obtained in China and Pahang and if Lynas was to close down, technology producers in the United States and Japan will have to solely depend on China.

Source: New Straits Times

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