Have a healthy debate on Lynas: Saifuddin



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KUANTAN: The parties involved in the issue on the rare earth processing plant, Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Lynas), were urged to hold healthy debates, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said. (pix).

He said that this was because the three major parties, namely the government through its various agencies and departments, the management of Lynas and those who do not agree with Lynas have expressed their views through third parties.

"Healthy debate can prevent the escalation of the issue, which could lead to unfavorable developments. Among others, the debate could address whether it is safe or whether it has high radioactive content or not, and so on.

"There would still be perceptions if Lynas got a certain decision from the government, so the question arose whether the process was transparent," he told a news conference after visiting the Lynas factory in Gebeng today.

Saifuddin, who is also a member of Indera Mahkota MP, spent nearly three hours on the scene, involving a briefing session from Lynas Management, examining the operation and discussion with Lynas employees.

He, however, declined to comment further on the operation or offer opinions on his visit, as he felt that the most appropriate individual to do so is the Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, Yeo Bee Yin.

Yeo, according to Saifuddin, gave a positive indication to visit Lynas, but so far no dates were set.

Asked if he would share his visit at the Cabinet meeting, Saifuddin said: "As a Cabinet member and even more as a member of the area parliament that Lynas was created, I should be involved, but as a person involved in governance.

For the record, Saifuddin is the second minister to visit the Lynas factory after the Minister of Primary Industry, Teresa Kok.

Meanwhile, Lynas Radiation's General Manager for Safety and Compliance Standards, Ismail Bahari, said the company is open to any healthy discussion to explain its operation.

"This offer has been given since the start of the operation and we have not declined any meetings because Lynas is prepared to seek a solution and find common ground," he said. – Bernama

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