Malaysia

Environmentalists to hold demonstration, hunger strike against Lynas

Groups will hold a protest and a hunger strike in an ongoing campaign to stop the Lynas operations. -- Reuters picGroups will hold a protest and a hunger strike in an ongoing campaign to stop the Lynas operations. -- Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, Dec 20 – Environmentalist groups plan to hold demonstrations through a protest drive and hunger strike to protest against the construction of rare earth plant, Lynas Corp Sdn Bhd.

Anti-Lynas group Himpunan Hijau plans to drive from Kuala Lumpur to the Australian-company owned plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, as part of their intensive 100-day campaign to stop the plant from operating.

The protest was announced following the recent failure of a residents group Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) to reverse the November 8 decision by the Kuantan High Court on the controversial Lynas plant’s temporary operating licence (TOL) in the Court of Appeal.

“We. the rakyat, will do everything within this hundred days to bring down Lynas and prevent the corrupt regime from returning to Putrajaya,” said Himpunan Hijau chairman Wong Tack.

Wong explains that the people are angry and upset with the formation of Lynas, which was given the approval “to carry out destructive operations” in the nation.

“Their destructive operations are not only limited to rare earth processing but will very soon extend to radioactive waste processing as well.

“The people are outraged by the continuous irresponsible and confusing statements from Lynas and the ministries involved,” added Wong.

10,000 cars and motorcycles are expected to turn up on 31st December for the KL to Kuantan Anti-Lynas Protest Drive.

The protest will start at the PAS headquarters in Taman Melawar, Gombak at 8am, and arrive two hours later at the PAS headquarters in Chegar Mendang, Bentong.

Once there, speeches will be given by representatives for environmental community groups and prominent political leaders.

They will later move to Gebeng and camp out at the Himpunan Hijau anti-Lynas Blockade base camp in Balok.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Youth Against Public Hazards plan to stage a hunger strike for 100 hours at Dataran Merdeka from December 27 to January 1.

“We want to raise awareness (to the) many projects that threaten our country... That is why we’re working with Himpunan Hijau.

“We hope the government will be more transparent in dealing with projects like this,” said Tan Woon Tian, the youth group’s spokesperson.

Tan told the press that the hunger strike would start at 8pm on December 27 and is expected to end at noon on January 1st, with a statement from 14-year-old secondary school students.

“We would also ask the Cabinet to respond to this matter (of Lynas),” Tan said.

Besides the hunger strike, the group will form a speaker’s corner and invite speakers from environmental communities.

“We have informed the Kuala Lumpur Hospital and St John’s Ambulance. However, we don’t feel the need to inform the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) (about the hunger strike),” he added.

Those who wish to join the hunger strike can do so through their Facebook group: Hunger Protest 100: Say No to Public Hazard: Protes Lapar Tolak Ancaman Alam.

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