Malaysia

Anti-Lynas lobby group to join Bersih rally

This will be Himpunan Hijau’s third public protest to date. — file picThis will be Himpunan Hijau’s third public protest to date. — file picKUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — Anti-Lynas lobby group Himpunan Hijau will join Bersih 2.0’s rally for free and fair elections this April 28 in the hope that this would further pressure the government to stop Lynas Corporation’s rare earth project in Kuantan.

Like Bersih, this will be Himpunan Hijau’s third public protest to date, and it is expected to draw an even larger crowd than the first two, which were held in Kuantan on October 9, 2011, and February 26, 2012.

“Our third will be this April 28, along with Bersih,” Himpunan Hijau steering committee member Clement Chin said today.

He was speaking at a press conference organised by Bersih 2.0 at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) to announce the date of its third rally.

Chin added that the group must move quickly to pile pressure on the government to stop the project as Lynas Corp’s plant in the Gebeng Industrial Estate is near completion.

During a press conference yesterday, the Sydney-based Lynas Corp’s Malaysian subsidiary said the plant would be ready to fire up operations in three weeks’ time.

“Why are we in such a hurry? We are trying very hard to tell the government that people do not want the project.

“But they (government) are trying to pacify us by throwing red herrings,” he said.

Chin was referring to the recent formation of a parliamentary select committee (PSC) on the Lynas issue, which critics have claimed is a public relations exercise by the Najib administration.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers, who are part of the anti-Lynas movement along with Kuantan residents, have decided to boycott the PSC, which has been given three months to resolve the ongoing dispute.

As such, according to the anti-Lynas group today, it is “logical and essential” that it join Bersih’s rally, as it is also to protest against a “dirty government”.

“Himpunan Hijau believes strongly that the massive environmental pollution and destruction observed in this country today are caused by a dirty government.

“Therefore, working closely with Bersih 2.0 is highly logical and essential because a clean environment is only achievable when we have a clean government,” the group said in a statement.

Bersih 2.0 today confirmed April 28 as the date for its third rally to push for free and fair elections. This time, the event from 2pm to 4pm at Dataran Merdeka, will be held simultaneously at numerous venues across the peninsula and east Malaysia, as well as worldwide.

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