KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 (Bernama) -- Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the rare earths mining company, should not be treated like an outcast as it brings big investment and jobs, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“It’s a big investment, RM1.7 billion. It creates 700 jobs, high-quality, high-paying jobs. It is necessary for our investment.
“If you treat Lynas like a pariah, and ask them to leave this country, we will not get other people to come into this country to invest,” he told the press after launching the 2019 World Tourism Conference which was also attended by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi here today.
Dr Mahathir was asked about claims by critics of the rare earths miner that the company’s licence was renewed due to his close ties with the Japanese government.
In his short replies, he said, “It’s nothing to do with Japan.”
It was reported the government announced that the operating licence for Lynas which was to expire next month, was extended another six months, on condition of finding a permanent disposal site for the water leach purification (WLP) residue it produced.
The extension to 2030 to repay US$147 million (RM620 million) will help Lynas follow through on its 2025 expansion plans.
On Sunday, a rally was held to oppose an extension of the operating licence for the rare earths processing plant owned by Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Lynas).