Lynas workers shed tears of joy

KUANTAN: Lynas Advance Material Plant (Lynas) workers shed tears of joy after learning that the company can finally begin its long-delayed operations following a court decision.

The High Court here rejected an application for an interim injunction on its Temporary Operating
Licence (TOL) filed by three residents.

Judge Datuk Mariana Yahya in her ruling said that the contention by the three applicants that Lynas’ operation would lead to environmental and health problems was too premature to be raised at present.

Some 500 workers, who gathered at the Kuantan Court Complex compound here since yesterday morning, shouted the takbir (praising God) after the news of the verdict filtered through.

The atmosphere later turned solemn as some workers shed tears and held up their hands in prayers.

Clad in yellow factory uniforms, the workers displayed banners like ‘Don’t disturb our rice pot’, ‘Who will feed our children’, ‘Stop slandering Lynas’, ‘I really love Lynas’, and ‘Kuantan Lynas will be the national green technology centre’.

On the other hand, about 200 anti-Lynas activists, including members of Save Malaysia Stop Lynas, left the court compound, dejected.

Lynas Corporation vice-president Datuk Marshal Ahmad said he was thankful for the court’s decision ended the company and workers’ hardship.

“We will now focus on efforts to begin operations as soon as possible for it involved a huge investment.

Hopefully, with this decision foreign investors’ confidence in Malaysia will be restored,” he said.

He also hoped uncalled for accusations and slanders against Lynas would be stopped.

“I would also like to invite all parties, including anti-Lynas activists to visit our factory and bring along their experts to get their facts right,” he said.

Lynas chose to operate in Malaysia because of its cheaper production costs compared to Australia while China had tightened export of the product.

Lynas too had obtained licences to build the factory in the two countries. — Bernama

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