The licence issued to Lynas Corporation Ltd, an Australian company in Gebeng to process rare earth, can be withdrawn and its operation ordered to cease immediately if it found to have breached any of the terms and conditions set by the government, the Dewan Negara was told yesterday.
Deputy International Trade and Industry minister Datuk Muhkriz Tun Mahathir said the issuance of the licence to the company and its operations were subjected to provisions under the Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984 and the Environmental Quality Act 1974.
“Implementation of the rare earth project is also based on scientific and technical facts in terms security and not harmful to health, as well as does not affect the environment,” he said in response to a question by Senator Dr S Ramakrishan.
Mukhriz said the rare earth processing project was a strategic industry and of benefit to the country.
“Malaysia will be the only country in Southeast Asia which produces raw materials and inputs which are crucial for high-technology products, like compact florescent lamp, auto catalytic converter, disk drives and flat panel disc plate, disc drives and super magnets for renewable energy industry.
“Besides that, it will also create employment opportunities, increases country’s foreign exchange earnings, technology transfer, encourages research and development activities, as well as having the potential to attract
new investments in high-technology downstream sector,” he added.
To a supplementary question by Dr Ramakrishan, Mukhriz said the decision by Lynas to operate in Malaysia was that of the company itself and had no connection with the Australian government.
“Malaysia has a chemical industry cluster that can help supply the raw materials needed.
“In fact, our country is near to market countries like China, Japan and Taiwan,” he said.