Himpunan Hijau threatens even bigger anti-Lynas rally

Thousands participate in today's Himpunan Hijau in Kuantan today. - Picture by Jack OoiThousands participate in today's Himpunan Hijau in Kuantan today. - Picture by Jack OoiKUANTAN, Feb 26 — Putrajaya must axe Lynas Corp’s rare earth plant or face an even larger demonstration in the near future, organisers of today’s anti-Lynas rally have said. 

Himpunan Hijau 2.0 chairman Wong Tack said the coalition would give authorities one day to respond to the demand, after which the green group will start planning its next mammoth protest. 

“The whole nation has risen up. We cannot accept this kind of destruction to our country. It is very clear. How much louder do you want us to scream? When are you going to care about the people’s concerns?” he told reporters after the rally at Padang MPK 4 here. 

“We want a decision to be made in 24 hours, or else our committee will start immediately on a bigger demonstration... to make sure either we bring down Lynas or bring down this government. You change your decision or we change you.” 

Wong said while the Najib administration may be in power now, the radioactive waste that will be produced at the Lynas Corp plant in nearby Gebeng will persist for much, much longer. 

“You may be in government today, but the waste is not going to be finished while you’re in government. 

“While you may be out in a few months, we have to handle it for millions of years. How can we accept that?” he said. 

The Himpunan Hijau 2.0 anti-Lynas rally today attracted thousands in what was the first major protest since the Public Assembly Bill was made into law last month. 

The mammoth rally, which received a green light from city police, went off without a hitch. 

The protests came hot on the heels of the Atomic Energy Licensing Board's (AELB) decision on January 20 to grant Lynas a temporary operating licence (TOL), which will let it embark on a trial run. 

Critics have alleged that the Australian miner has not given enough assurances on how it will handle the low-level radioactive waste that will be produced at the refinery.


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