Cabinet decision on Lynas soon, says Dr Mahathir

PM also says govt will continue to impose ‘no gift policy’ for all positions in public sector

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by ISMAIL CHE RUS

The government’s final stand on Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s controversial rare-earths processing plant in Kuantan, Pahang, will be deliberated and decided by the Cabinet soon, said Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said a Cabinet decision will clarify the government’s position on the Australian project amid recent conflicting statements by federal ministers on the matter.

“We will answer that in the Cabinet. There may be differences of opinions, but it is quite normal.

“What will be determined by the Cabinet will be the official (decision),” he told reporters after witnessing a signing ceremony between KA Petra Sdn Bhd and Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd in Putrajaya yesterday.

On Monday, Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said the government has yet to decide on the project and the radioactive waste’s return to Australia.

The statement, however, was in contrast with Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin’s decision in December 2018, ordering Lynas to ship its radioactive waste back to Australia before it can renew its operating permit to continue operating here.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said the government will continue to impose the “no gift policy” for all positions in the public sector.

“If he has committed a crime, it will be up to the people to study. But, if somebody receives something before joining the government, that is their problem, not our problem.

“Only if you are working in the government (sector), you are not allowed to receive gifts,” he said in response to the arrest of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub’s political secretary on Monday.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has obtained a four-day remand order to probe the 47-year-old man for allegedly accepting a bribe in the form of a luxury watch worth RM28,000.

The case is currently being investigated under Section 16(a)(A) of the MACC Act 2009.