DATO’ SAIFUDDIN ABDULLAH’S VISIT TO LYNAS ADVANCED MATERIAL PLANT ON 20 APRIL 2019
I visited the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (LAMP) on Saturday 20th April 2019 primarily to look into the welfare and concerns of the employees of Lynas as Member of Parliament for Indera Mahkota, and a member of the Cabinet.
The issues of concern which I sought clarification during the briefing by the management and the dialogue session with employees were; 1) the scientific debate on the management and effects of the WLP (Waste Leached Purification) and NUF (Neutralization Underflow) residues; 2) the decision making processes involved in carrying out the regulatory processes; and 3) moving forward.
Both WLP and NUF residue are stored in large quantities, at separate sites within Lynas. Both residues are classified as Scheduled Waste, under the Environment Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2005.
There has been opposing sides presenting different argumentations on the toxicity and effects of the by-products since Lynas’ inception and operations in 2012. I raised the question of whether there was a healthy debate between Lynas and groups opposing them, while cautioned on possible manipulation of facts and manufacturing of consent.
This also raised many questions about the integrity of decisions made in the past by government agencies and even the judiciary, so it is only through healthy debate that we can see the true weightage in each side’s argumentation. Those that are for, and against the operations of Lynas must be heard.
Decision making and regulatory processes
Being a highly regulated industry, the regulatory process involved in Lynas beginning its operations at the start of the decade could have been convoluted. Despite strong opposition, Lynas was granted all necessary approvals to begin operations. There were many agencies involved in granting approvals, all under the previous administration.
Are we certain that these processes were transparent? Were the right questions being asked by the Regulators? Were there elements of corruption in the process? Were there vested interests or favours owed?
When I asked the employees if they had a union (which is their right as workers), I was told no.
My priority as the member of Parliament for Indera Mahkota and a member of the Cabinet, is the welfare and the interests of the employees, whom most are native Indera Mahkota residents.
The current administration has come up with its latest findings on Lynas that were made public quite recently by the Minister of MESTECC. In my capacity as a member of Cabinet, I can say that I have and will continue to raise these three (3) issues mentioned above and all other relevant factors with my colleagues, and that I have been personally informed by the Minister of MESTECC herself that she will be visiting Lynas soon.