Despite light rain, 60 Kuantan residents, including mothers, gathered outside Parliament House today to demand that the prime minister withdraws the temporary operating licence (TOL) issued to the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant in Gebeng, Kuantan.
Rahiza Zulkifli (left), who represented 12 Kuantan mothers, appealed to Najib Abdul Razak, as a Pahang native and a father himself, to exercise his duty of care and to show strong leadership by intervening in the Lynas TOL matter.
“We appeal to you as the esteemed Prime Minister of Malaysia to show leadership in sustainable development by stopping the Lynas refinery plant.
“This is in the interest of the people and for the long-term future of your homeland in Pahang,” states the memorandum Rahiza presented to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz at Parliament House.
Save Malaysia Stop Lynas coalition chairperson Tan Boon Teet, who was present, said the mothers departed from Kuantan at 10.30am.
The two busloads of protesters initially planned to march to Parliament from the National Monument at 3pm.
However, they arrived late, at 3.30pm, and stopped in front of the entrance to Parliament because of the rain and traffic jam.
One protester, Ou Dai Foo (right), who donned a helmet with an red light attached, said the helmet symbolised the people’s disagreement with the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant operating in their locality.
“Although the government has given the green light to Lynas, it did so without getting the people’s consent,” Ou, a resident of Kuantan,said.
He also wore a placard carrying the statement “Lynas Malaysia, people show red light despite PSC’s green light” on his chest.
Despite massive protests, the government on Sept 5 issued the TOL to the controversial rare earths plant, which residents fear will pose a radiation hazard to them.
Local activists have also applied to the court for the TOL to be suspended pending two judicial review cases challenging the government’s decision to issue the TOL.
The High Court in Kuantan will give its decision on Nov 8.