Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Government To Ensure Lynas Complies With Set Rules, Conditions

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 11 (Bernama) -- Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili today stressed that the government would ensure that Lynas comply with the set rules and conditions before allowing its Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Gebeng, Pahang to begin operations.

He said this included removing all the residue generated by the plant from Malaysia including all products made from the residue.

Ongkili said Lynas had proposed to convert the waste into products which had a radioactivity amount of below 1 becquerel per gramme, which would make them ordinary products usable for industrial purposes.

"1 becquerel is what the quarries are producing, and the standard in Malaysia is even higher than the international standard, that is, 5 becquerel per gramme."

He said this after opening the Ninth Malaysia Plan Research, Development and Commercialisation Output Convention at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.

Asked whether the products could then be marketed in Malaysia, Ongkili said it was up to Lynas.

"They have to find the market. But it is not classified as dangerous anymore and instead it falls under the Environment Quality Act (which is no longer under his jurisdiction)," he said.

Ongkili also reiterated that the safety issue had been the government's main concern since the beginning, that was why international standards had been made the guidelines and various processes had been gone through before the plant was granted a temporary operating license.

The waste issue came to light when there was a news reports quoting DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng as saying that Lynas managing director Mashal Ahmad had admitted that the company would not be exporting waste.

Lynas, however, denied that such a statement had been made, and said that the converted product called synthetic aggregate would be exported to other countries in accordance with international and local standards and regulations where it would be used as civil engineering material.