Burn all the manifestos you want, but what does that achieve? Dr M asks Lynas protestors

Ida Nadirah Ibrahim
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad visits AirAsia RedQ in Sepang August 16, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

SEPANG, Aug 16 ― Ahead of an anti-Lynas rally planned this coming Sunday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the threat to burn Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto will not resolve any of the issues concerning Lynas Corp’s operations.

At a press conference here, Dr Mahathir said the plans to burn the manifesto would only cause more anger to the public.

“They can burn the manifesto, but we have to deal with this thing with some common sense.

“We can’t go around burning manifestos and expect everything to be resolved. I'm quite sure if you burn all the manifestos, it doesn't resolve anything but it will make people angry,” said Dr Mahathir to the media after an official visit to the AirAsia Bhd headquarters here.

Dr Mahathir reiterated that the party’s election manifesto was drafted with limited information before PH overtook the Federal government.

“Now we are finding different information and have to respond to those information,” he said.

“In the case of Lynas, there has been an investigation and they [Lynas] have declared that there is no danger. But of course the people there still feel that they should get rid of it... so we will look into that.”

When asked what Putrajaya would do should Lynas fail to fulfill the four conditions as a prerequisite for its business here, Dr Mahathir said the rare earth mining company will be given four years to meet the requirements.

“We give them four years, we are not going to chase them out.

“We fix it [the license] at 6 months now, but we hope to get them to do these things quickly. But if they cannot for some reason we have to take these reasons into consideration... [this will] depend on the data we collect,” he said.

Yesterday, Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd ‘s operating licence was renewed for six months subject to several conditions from the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB).

The company has been slapped with four conditions as a prerequisite for its business here, including an order to build a “cracking and leaching” facility overseas, to transfer said process from its current base in Gebeng, Kuantan, out of Malaysia.

AELB said that the said facility must also be built and start operating within four years from the date of the licence approval.

Malaysiakini reported on Tuesday that the anti-Lynas lead campaigner Tan Boon Teet had said that the burning of the Pakatan Harapan manifesto is to symbolise how the government had allegedly broken its promise towards sustainable development.

He said that the ruling party had violated Promise 39, where it pledged to govern the country based on the principles of sustainability.

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