Sunday, February 26, 2012

Voices of The People

The story begins here, Bukit Merah, a Chinese new village nearby Menglembu. Rare earth plant was a nightmare to the residents of Bukit Merah. In 1982, a factory called Asian Rare Earth (ARE, joint developed by Japanese & local companies) was built along Lahat Road, which is just opposite to the village. Due to the toxic radioactive waste from the factory, they had fought for 12 years to chase this plant out from their home. However, the villagers suffered a higher rate of cancer & immune system diseases over the years. (For more information, please refer Chronology of Events in the Bukit Merah Asian Rare Earth Development)

ARE finally ceased operation in 1994. However, history is recurring recently; an Australian rare earth mining company, Lynas is setting up a plant at Kuantan, the capital of Pahang state. The better awareness of Malaysian about threat of radioactive waste to human body is triggering a nationwide objection to the rare earth plant in Kuantan. After several attempts to urge Federal Government to drop this project failed, people starts to march on the street to voice out the concern.

A peace demonstration was organized in Kuantan this January & today the 2nd round of rally against Lynas is being held in few major cities nationwide. In Ipoh, Bukit Merah as the victim of rare earth processing, is chosen as the venue of rally. Hundreds of people gathered along Lahat Road, nearby the previous ARE site and waved their posters to the passing by vehicles while shouted the slogan "Stop Lynas, Save Malaysia". Many drivers had respond by horn.

State Assemblyman of Tebing Tinggi (Ong Boon Piow) & Member of Parliment of Gopeng (Lee Boon Chye) from opposition parties are greeting each other.

Saving our homeland from threat of hazardous industry is regardless of race & age.

The event ended in one hour & the crowd left the site peacefully. We hope the voices of people is heard.

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