3:46PM Mar 1, 2012
Despite the rejection by the Australian government, Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai said the cabinet has agreed to four ministers’ proposal to return the waste from the Lynas rare earth plant to Australia.
The government will write to the Australian government soon to convey the stance, he told Chinese dailies yesterday after attending the cabinet’s weekly meeting.
According to Oriental Daily News, Liow said the government will only grant an operating licence to Lynas if it fulfils this criterion.
If Lynas cannot give a guarantee, we will not approve (the operating licence), he was quoted as saying.
On Australia’s refusal to accept the waste, Liow again pushedthe issue to Lynas, saying that it is a problem that the Australian company has to deal with.
Last April, Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum Norman Moore stated that Australia does not support the importation and storage of other countries’ radioactive waste.
Furthermore, international transfer of radioactive waste is banned by the Basel Convention, which Malaysia had ratified.
Aside from Liow, the other ministers who proposed the move were Natural Resources and Environment Minister Douglas Uggah Embas; Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Maximus Ongkili; and International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed.