Report: DAP leaders to meet again, this time over Lynas licence extension plan

Lim Guan Eng arrives at DAP’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur August 5, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Lim Guan Eng arrives at DAP’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur August 5, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, August 11 — All DAP elected representatives nationwide will be summoned for the second time in a month, this time to discuss the renewal of the operating licence for the Lynas’ rare earths processing plant.

The party meeting set for Tuesday comes a week after a similar discussion was held where party members met to discuss the Education Ministry’s proposal to introduce khat in the school curriculum, which has seen a variety of reactions, including pushback from the Chinese community.

According to Malaysiakini, the briefing is set to take place at DAP’s headquarters here at 8pm.

“Similar to the khat briefing, this meeting will see the attendance of all elected representatives.

“The Cabinet’s decision on Lynas is expected before August 15, so the party will have to hold the meeting beforehand,” a source told Malaysiakini.

Among the top DAP leaders at the meeting will be DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Bakri MP Yeo Bee Yin, who is in the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry.

Sources quoted in the report said among the possible areas of discussion would be how DAP could make a last attempt to the Cabinet to stop the licence renewal and how to deal with the fallout should its attempt fail.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia cannot force Lynas Corps to leave after having invited the Australian rare earth minerals mining company to invest in the country.

Dr Mahathir said foreign investors were watching the government’s action on Lynas, highlighting concerns the move to not renew Lynas’ licence could potentially scare off foreign investors.

The report also said the Cabinet had indicated it was prepared to provide Lynas with a six-month provisional extension of the licence, which expires on September 2.

Dr Mahathir previously stated that the Australian mining firm has been directed to construct a permanent disposal facility (PDF) to treat the water leach purification (WLP) residue that is created from rare-earths processing at its facility in Gebeng, Kuantan.

Lynas previously insisted that it won’t be able to export 450,000 tonnes of the WLP residue, a by-product of their refinery operations, by September and offered to build the PDF as a compromise.

Prior to the 14th general election, the rejection of the Lynas rare-earths refinery in Kuantan was among platforms PH had used to garner public support.