Cabinet meeting minutes must be made public

Concerning the Cabinet’s decision of extending Lynas Corp’s operating license and removing the requirement for Lynas Corp to repatriate its processing waste, based on the principles of transparency and accountability, the Cabinet should make its meeting minutes public to allow citizens to understand the basis of which the Cabinet made the decision as well as Cabinet members’ stances on the issue of Lynas.

When Lynas Corp’s operating license is about to expire now, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir said that the government will be dropping its requirement for Lynas to repatriate its waste and is ready to permit Lynas’s operation if it can propose a waste management plan.

Many PH ministers have made clear promises before coming into power that Lynas can never leave its waste within our country.

The 39th promise in the PH Manifesto, namely “Balancing economic growth with environmental protection” states that:

“All laws and regulations pertaining to environmental management and protection will be revised so that proper governance structures can be created, in line with the increasingly demanding modern times. Strict rules will be enforced to ensure that foreign companies in Malaysia do not contribute to pollution.”

In other words, closing down Lynas’s rare-earth processing plant is a promise made clearly in the PH Manifesto during the GE14.

Therefore, dealing with the problem of rare earth processing plant is undoubtedly one of the most important indicators to examine Pakatan Harapan’s performance.

Since the PH government is making a huge U-turn on the issue of Lynas, it has the responsibility to explain to the voters. Adhering to the principles of transparency and accountability, the Cabinet must make the Cabinet’s meeting minutes as well as our ministers’ stances public for scrutiny.

The New Malaysia should not be governed based on paternalism as before, and the voters have the right to know the truth behind the decisions made.

Chiong Yoke Kong
Media statement by Chiong Yoke Kong in Cameron Highlands on Saturday, 3rd August 2019