‘Chaos’ will result from anti-Lynas mosque protests, Perkasa warns
April 08, 2012
Perkasa members protest outside the National Mosque on August 19, 2011. The group today said protests at mosques would lead to “chaos” in the Malay community. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — Unrest in the Malay community may be sparked by a series of anti-Lynas Corp protests planned to be held at mosques nationwide, Perkasa warned today.
The Malay rights group’s youth chief Irwan Fahmi Ideris told authorities to take the upcoming April 13 event seriously, claiming that “religious institutions” are being abused and manipulated for political gains.
“There will be chaos, this will cause national unrest. Is it not enough that Malays are already divided by different political parties, now mosques are being used to split them further?
“Police must take appropriate action. Arrest them before there is a situation where Malays are pitted against Malays for this issue,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
Irwan also sought to apportion blame for the predicted “chaos” on Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, whom he attacked yesterday over the election watchdog’s upcoming rally for free and fair elections.
“Malays are now being used as pawns, tools for Ambiga... Anti-Lynas, Bersih sama sahaja, (same purpose),” he claimed.
Irwan said what Solidariti SeMalaysia Himpunan Hijau, the organisers of the April 13 rallies, was planning to do went against Islamic principles, adding that the protests were akin to “desecrating” the sanctity of mosques and the religion itself.
“Mosques should not be used for political purposes,” said the Wira Perkasa leader.
“I will stand by what I say...if they think the Lynas plant is hazardous, bring proof, show proof...what’s the need to go specifically to mosques and to drag Muslims on a holy Friday to do all this?”
Irwan said he will bring up the matter to Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali to decide on “how to tackle” this “threat.”
The Malaysian Insider reported this morning that anti-Lynas groups will take their campaign to mosques nationwide, hoping to break racial barriers and add support for their ongoing efforts to stop Lynas Corporation’s rare earth project in Kuantan.
The Malaysian Insider understands that a protest has been planned for “selected” mosques nationwide this April 13, to be organised by a group of non-governmental organisations called Solidariti SeMalaysia Himpunan Hijau.
An estimated 22 groups, including Asalkan Bukan Umno (ABU) and Badan Bertindak Anti-Rare Earths (Badar), will be part of this campaign.
ABU representative Haris Ibrahim told The Malaysian Insider that Solidariti SeMalaysia Himpunan Hijau’s main objective is to correct the misconception that the Lynas issue only concerns the Chinese community and those living near the Gebeng Industrial Estate where the refinery is sited.
Earlier this week, Himpunan Hijau also said it will join Bersih’s rally for free and fair elections this April 28 in the hope that this would further pressure the government to stop Lynas Corp’s rare earth project in Kuantan.
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 this year.
Lynas Corp’s Malaysian subsidiary has said the plant will be ready to fire up operations in three weeks’ time.
The government recently formed a parliamentary select committee (PSC) to look into the Lynas issue, but critics have dismissed it as 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.