The protest held after Friday prayers was aimed at dispelling the notion that the issue is a concern only for the Chinese and residents of Gebeng
SHAH ALAM: An anti-Lynas protest at Dataran Shah Alam here drew a crowd of about 200, with drivers passing the area honking in support.
The protest, participated mostly by Malays, was held in an effort by the organisers to dispel the notion that the radioactive rare earth plant issue was of concern only for the Chinese and Gebeng residents.
The hour-long protest started after the Friday prayers.
“The Lynas issue is not about Umno, PKR or PAS, it’s about the rakyat and their health. Experts have said that it would destroy us and the environment,” thundered PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu to loud applause from those present.
“Down with Lynas! Long live the people! Earth is green!” chanted the crowd, who came armed with banners and posters.
This protest, supported by almost 30 NGOs under the umbrella of Solidariti Hijau SeMalaysia, was supposedly held simultaneously in 10 different locations nationwide (Pahang, Perak, Sarawak, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Johor, Melaka, Terengganu, Pulau Pinang).
“This is now a national issue. Hear us now. We don’t want lynas, get out!” said social activist Haris Ibrahim, a vocal member of the Anything But Umno (ABU) movement.
Also present were Solidariti Hijau Semalaysia chairman Zulkefly Mohamad Omar, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, Hulu Selangor state assemblyman Shaari Sungip, Parti Sosialis Malaysia secretary-general S Arulchelvam, Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia president Mohd Safwan Anang and PAS Selangor commissioner Dr Abdul Rani Osman.
“Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said if it’s proven to be dangerous, then the government would close it down. But he got it all wrong. He should say it should only be opened if it can be proven to be safe. What do Malaysians gain from this?” said Khalid.
The PAS MP said the Australian company would get a 12-year tax exemption but Malaysia would only get 12 years worth of radioactive waste.