|First, read the MalayMail's story for context h e r e|
"So the question must be asked — why is Lynas Malaysia being targeted by a small group of activists when the company has repeatedly been shown to have met all of its health, safety and environmental obligations?" - Mashal Ahmad
KL, 29 July: You'd think that when the Prime Minister of this country told the international media in May that Lynas can stay, his "people" within the PH government would respect that call. Nope, that hasn't been the case. The anti-Lynas movement, which we all know is led by some quarters in DAP and PKR, is not budging an inch. On the contrary, they are intensifying efforts to put the pressure on Lynas - and on Dr Mahathir himself - to kneel before them and give in to their demands.
There has been speculation that these people are backed by China, that big, big Renminbi is involved. Sounds incredulous to you? Not when you consider how really big the potential of the business in Malaysia is (RM732 billion, says Xavior Jayakumar - 18 July) and the fact that on the global front, the Aussies and the Americans are teaming up, according to Nikkei Asian Review, against China's dominance in rare earths.
We - Malaysia - happen to be in the picture because we decided, in 2012 to let Lynas set up its rare earth plant in Gebeng. Since then, Lynas (and the mutants it's supposed to turn the locals into) has been featured prominently in two general elections and catapulted several politicians to otherwise unlikely election victories and, subsequently, top positions in Dr Mahathir's government.
His own Energy, Science, Technology and Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin is a diehard opponent of Lynas. The day after the PM made his mind up about Lynas in Tokyo, she would clarify Dr Mahathir's statement and say: "I think this will have to wait for me to come back from Australia ..." (Yeo clarified Dr M's remarks, stresses that waste must be shipped out - 31 May).
She never did make that trip to Australia.
As I see it, Lynas is proof that Dr Mahathir is right - his government's economic recovery efforts are, indeed, being undermined. But right now he's pointing his fingers at the wrong direction.
The PM needs only to look within his own coalition and government for the culprits.
Latest on Lynas:
An open letter to the people and the Government of Malaysia from Lynas
JULY 28 — Salam Sejahtera,
I am the Managing Director of Lynas Malaysia and I’m writing to you on behalf of our employees and contractors and their families.
In recent weeks you may have seen a campaign of false information by anti-Lynas activists. We have always welcomed informed debate, however, the spreading of false allegations and misinformation is unacceptable.
We cannot allow lies to stand unchallenged and we will not hesitate to take legal action against those who persist in defaming our people and our company.
Lynas Malaysia is a law-abiding company. The Pakatan Harapan government’s Executive Review Committee report, released in December 2018, was the latest of four national and international reviews to have found our operations to be low risk and compliant with laws and regulations. This view is supported by Malaysia’s eminent scientists.
We are proud of our outstanding employment, health, safety and environmental record. So the question must be asked – why is Lynas Malaysia being targeted by a small group of activists when the company has repeatedly been shown to have met all of its health, safety and environmental obligations?
Lynas Malaysia is accredited to international ISO standards and we have been recognised with many Malaysian and international awards for our health, safety and environmental practices. Recent independent and government audits of our operations, undertaken as part of regulatory oversight, confirm we are not only compliant but implementing best practice management,
Our many supporters know the truth about Luynas and today we are proud to share the truth with you. On behalf of the Lynas Malaysia Team, Terima kasih.
* Datuk Mashal Ahmad is the VP & Managing Director of Lynas Malaysia.
Lynas will sue those who defame it - The Mole, 29 July 2019
Lynas CEO open letter - FMT, 2 October 2018
Yeo Bee Yin: My reply to Lynas employees - Malaysiakini, 13 Dec 2018
About Yeo's condescending letter - Life of Annie, 14 Dec 2018