Govt adopts best practices in Lynas issue, investment activities

by BERNAMA/ pic by AFP

MALAYSIA as a developing country has and will always adopt the best practices when handling investment activities in the country and will not do anything to jeopardise the wellbeing of the people, said Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Mohd Yusof.

Responding to the media with regard to the safety issue of the rare earth processing plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, by Lynas (M) Sdn Bhd, he urged the people to bring positive narrative that could give confidence to investors instead of doing something based on emotions.

Mohd Redzuan reiterated Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Moha-mad’s statement that there was no great danger to the radioactive material in Lynas’ operations.

“The experts have made the necessary inspections at the Lynas plant and established that it poses no danger”, the minister noted.

To recap, the Australian rare earth company, whose operation permit was renewed for another six months, has been embroiled in controversy for several years with environmentalists and Pakatan Harapan politicians protesting against the plant and forcing a closure of the operation.

“There will always be opposition but we will educate them…we have to tell them the right narrative. And the report has been made public, so they can access it to see whether we are telling the truth or not,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Mohd Redzuan yesterday held a media briefing on the National Entrepreneurship Week 2019 which will be held on Aug 29 to Sept 1, at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang.

This is a follow-up programme after the launch of the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 and is expected to attract more than 50,000 visitors and involving some 3,000 entrepreneurs from various sectors.

He said the foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country in the first quarter of 2019 reached RM21.7 billion compared to RM11.2 billion recorded in the same period in 2018.

“The projected numbers have shown our capability to continue to stimulate the nation’s economy but we must be cautious and ready to face the possibility of a situation that can harm growth.

“Due to that, focus must be given to domestic direct investments in line with the focus and hope for FDI (growth), and hence the need to strengthen entrepreneurship in the country,” he added.

Separately, Bernama reported Mohd Redzuan as saying that the ministry will seek an allocation of over RM5 billion under the upcoming 2020 budget to further boost entrepreneurship in the country.

“We already have a justification as to why the ministry needs such a big budget. However, everything will depend on the government…it is for the committee to decide.

“I want to bring in a change to this 2020 budget…in order to realise the Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 that is more focused, holistic and outcome-based,” he told reporters.

Mohd Redzuan said the allocation would be focused on spending especially for training and human capital development.

He said his ministry intends to address the mismatch between demand and supply of local talent in the country as well as to create more job opportunities.