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Friday, November 30, 2012

Numbers do not denote strength


The number of people at an event does not determine the strength or weakness of a political party.
COMMENT
By Shen Yee Aun
The numbers at any political event is not the right and accurate benchmark to indicate a political party’s weakness or strength. I wonder how can some claim that the current Himpunan Hijau protest is a sign of a death knell for MCA ?
In the past when Barisan Nasional was at its peak, we saw large numbers attending opposition ceramah but the opposition still failed to make inroads during the polls.
MCA’s mega dinners have drawn an attendance ranging from 5,000 to 15,000 in each division but did MCA ever claim that it would win the next general election or that Pakatan Rakyat is losing steam?
MCA only claimed that it was recovering and was stronger than before. MCA would never take the numbers game for granted to brag that it was a sign of early victory.
In 1998, the Reformasi movement saw huge crowds, bigger than those who turned up for the Bersih and Lynas rallies, taking to the streets. But still MCA did well in the 1999 general election.
If the strength and weakness of a political party were just based on the impact of the numbers at a protest, then we must also include the 1,500 NGOs that participated in a rally with Barisan Nasional recently. Do we interpret this as BN’s strength?
If we want to play the numbers game, then 1,500 NGOs is much bigger compared to Himpunan Hijau. If we are talking about numbers, then it would be 1 (Pakatan) vs 1,500 (BN).
What about the recent 2,000 single mothers who protested against the Selangor Pakatan government that had cheated and manipulated them with empty promise after taking over the state? Is this the death knell for Pakatan in Selangor?
Selective environmentalism
The Lynas issue is actually one of the most successful political deceptions, lies and manipulations in history. Until today, there are still many who believe Pakatan that Lynas is actually a nuclear plant.
Any neutral science expert would tell you that the radiation of Lynas is way lower than the radiation from our mobile phones and even the radiation of taking flights. In reality, Lim Guan Eng’s solar plant in Penang would produce more radiation than Lynas.
China, which has the most rare earth plants, has not shut down a single plant. But China shut down the solar plant which the Penang government is trying to build now. The same solar plant in Zhejiang Province had wiped out the local fishing industry. It is a known fact that the manufacturing of Photovoltaics would pollute the environment and affect human health.
The International Energy Agency and Department of Environment had vetted the project before the Penang government gave its go-ahead. This is exactly the same agency that had reported and verified that the Malaysian Lynas development was actually safe.
So how is it that when the International Energy Agency and Department of Environment said that the solar plant is safe, it is accepted as safe but when the same agency said Lynas is safe, that cannot be accepted?
If we really want to be Green, then we should go Green all the way to even protest the solar plant in Penang that is scientifically proven to be much more dangerous than Lynas.
Shen Yee Aun is the president of the Malaysian Youth Rights Movement.

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