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Judicial review application challenging Lynas licence extension denied by High Court

KUALA LUMPUR (July 28): The High Court today denied a judicial review application by three individuals challenging the decision of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his Cabinet, and three others, to allow the licence extension of the rare earth processing facility owned by Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Senior Federal Counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambaly, when contacted, said that Judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid denied the judicial review application in online proceedings this afternoon. 

The judicial review was filed by Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas chairman Tan Bun Teet and two Kuantan residents, namely Ismail Abu Bakar and G Ponusamy, on Nov 8, 2019 as the applicants. They were all represented by lawyers Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, Dinesh Athinarayanan and Saha Deva.

Ahmad Hanir, meanwhile, was representing Dr Mahathir, the first respondent, and the 27 Cabinet ministers at that time, who were the second to 28th respondents, the Malaysian government and the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB), while Lynas was represented by lawyers Tan Sri Cecil Abraham and Datuk Sunil Abraham.

The judge then ordered costs of RM20,000 to be paid to all respondents by the three individuals. 

The court also ordered the trio to pay another RM20,000 costs to Lynas.

The three individuals, among other things, were seeking a declaration that Dr Mahathir and the 27 ministers’ collective decision as the federal Cabinet on Aug 15, 2019 to allow a licence extension of six months for the Lynas operation was null and void.

The first applicant, Tan, also filed his objection to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) by showing there were breaches to the licensing conditions and underground water pollution as included in the executive review committee report.

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