DAP leaders are tightlipped on the outcome of their meeting on Lynas’ rare earth refinery in Gebeng, ahead of a cabinet decision tomorrow on the plant’s operating license.
When asked on the outcome three-hour meeting, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said there had been a frank discussion but told reporters to wait for an official announcement.
Likewise, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment & Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin told reporters to wait for the announcement on Aug 15.
“The relevant agency of the government will announce the cabinet decision on Aug 15 as I had announced earlier, and I will also issue the views on the statement itself on Aug 15,” she told reporters when met outside the DAP headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, Bentong MP Wong Tack claimed DAP leaders are unanimous in the view that Lynas’ operating license should be suspended.
He said he had explained his misgivings towards Lynas and had received support from all levels, including ministers, but hinted that the people will have a tough fight ahead.
“We will fight on. I'll lead the people to fight on whatever the decision on Aug 15. At this moment, I think we are preparing for a very tough struggle. The people of Malaysia have to get tougher.
Asked to elaborate on the ‘tough struggle’ ahead, Wong said the cabinet’s decision should be opposed.
“Because we will have to fight against the cabinet decision that will be announced on Aug 15.
“I might not share the same stand of view (as the cabinet), but I'll continue as a backbencher, as people's representative and continue to struggle to ensure our children will not be burdened with radioactive anxiety,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sungai Pelek assemblyperson Ronnie Liu had departed the meeting earlier at about 9.30pm. When met by reporters, he said anti-Lynas groups would use all methods to stop Lynas, including by taking the company to court.
“We will also think of all sorts of protests including maybe suing Lynas, but we do all of the other things (first).
“If the government allows Lynas to continue, we will do all sort of protests including the possibility of filing a lawsuit against Lynas,” he said, while stressing that he was speaking and acting in his personal capacity and the lawsuit was not part of today’s discussions.
Earlier today, a group of DAP leaders and elected representatives had met at the party’s national headquarters in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the Lynas issue ahead of tomorrow’s cabinet decision.
Among those in attendance include DAP state and federal lawmakers, central committee (CEC) members, and state leaders.
Many of the top leaders had already arrived by 8pm, including the secretary-general Lim (photo, above), deputy chairperson Gobind Singh Deo, vice-chairperson M Kulasegaran, CEC member Lim Kit Siang, international secretary Teo Nie Ching, the environment minister Yeo, and Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim.
The elected representatives sighted include Malacca exco member Kerk Chee Yee, Skudai assemblyperson Tan Hong Pin, Johor exco member Tan Chen Choon, Seri Kembangan assemblyperson Ean Yong Hian Wah, and others.
As the meeting is a closed-door affair, a large group of reporters were only allowed to gather outside the DAP headquarters and could not enter the venue.
Previously, Malaysiakini had reported that DAP had summoned its leaders to a meeting to discuss Lynas’ operating license.
The previous BN-led administration had approved Lynas’ operating license for a two-year term in 2014. In 2016, the licence was extended for three years until Sept 2 this year – less than a month from now.
Earlier this month, Yeo had said the government will announce its decision on Lynas by Aug 15.
Cabinet meetings are normally held every Wednesday, thus a decision on Lynas operating license is expected when the cabinet meets tomorrow morning.
Malaysiakini had reported in March that government sources claim that cabinet had dropped its demand for Lynas to ship its waste products abroad, and it is also prepared to provide a six-month provisional extension to the Lynas license.
The source also claimed that “at least three ministers” supported Lynas’ continued operations, while those who had previously opposed Lynas have maintained their opposition.
DAP had previously benefited electorally from its open opposition towards Lynas, but could soon be placed in a tough spot if the rare earth refinery’s operations is indeed extended.
This comes in the wake of the controversy over the introduction of khat for Year 4 students; another hot potato issue that has seen a backlash against DAP, for which the party held a five-hour discussion in a similar meeting.