8:42AM Jul 7, 2012
Another round of anti-Lynas rallies will kick off in 34 towns and cities in Malaysia and Australia simultaneously on July 14 in conjunction with the Save Malaysia Stop Lynas coalition’s “call to action”.
Themed ‘We will vote for cleaner and safer future’, the rallies will begin at 5pm in nine states in Malaysia and in the Australian cities of Sydney, Perth and Melbourne.
“This national rally is organised by SMSL and supported by 30 local organisations. We expect between 15,000 and 20,000 people in all to take part.
“This will be a rally, not a protest,” SMSL chairman Tan Bun Teet (left) told a press conference yesterday.
Tan said the event to send the people’s demand for a “safe and clean environment” to the government would also include a mock voting process, in which every participant would be given a ballot to cast on the Lynas issue.
They can vote to either support or reject the Lynas rare earths refinery plant in Gebeng, Pahang, he said.
Tan said the exercise was also aimed at educating the people on the importance of voting in the coming general election.
Asked whether this move could be deemed as “anti-government”, he said it was not SMSL’s intention to oppose the government.
Tan said he himself was willing to vote for any party that could put a stop to the Lynas plant.
He said the group would not exclude the possibility of campaigning for certain political parties in the next polls, should their demands fall on deaf ears.
Largest rally to be in Kuantan
Bukit Pelindung in Kuantan in Pahang is set to be the largest gathering point for the event next Saturday, said Tan.
The participants there would be walking up a hill, and half-way up their trek to the top, they would cast their ballots.
“Each and every one of us have toiled and worked hard to better our lives and to provide for our families.
“We are citizens of Malaysia, the rakyat. We have been paying taxes to build our nation.
“Yet we are now expected to live with a giant rare earth plant that pays no tax,” Tan said, referring to the 12-year tax exemption period that the government has granted Lynas.