(Harakah Daily) - The 20,000-strong crowd which thronged Kuantan yesterday for a peaceful protest against the rare earth processing plant owned by Australia’s Lynas Corporation could likely be translated into votes against Barisan Nasional at the coming general election, said PAS's Central Committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
The Kuala Selangor member of parliament opined that the people’s anger and the spirit shown over the weekend in calling for the closure of the controversial Lynas plant would likely spill over to the coming general election.
"The people’s wrath will be felt by prime minister Najib Razak for his and his government’s arrogance in refusing to listen to the people on the great catastrophe that hovers should the plant be allowed to operate,” he said.
Top Pakatan Rakyat leaders including opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang and PAS vice president Salahuddin Ayub joined some 20,000 people for the Himpunan Hijau 2.0 rally in Kuantan, in what is the largest anti-Lynas protest so far. Protests were also held simultaneously in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
In Kuantan, Anwar vowed that a PR government would terminate the plant's license, and said an emergency motion would be tabled at the next parliamentary sitting to urge the Najib administration to cancel the plant.
Dzulkeflym who attended the protest in Kuala Lumpur (right) attributed the multiracial participation in the rallies to a sense of responsibility among the public rather than politics.
“I observe almost 50 percent are of age 30 and below, and this is the group of the younger voters who will decide who leads the country in this general election,” he added.
Dzulkefly claimed that should the government continue to ignore the grouses from the younger generation, more silent protests in the form of votes would take place.
He added that there was nothing for the country to gain from Lynas's rare-earth refinery despite the Australian corporation’s claim that the country would profit approximately RM8 billion annually.
“That is because our government is too kind-hearted by giving ten years of tax exemption. In return, the people will only get the radioactive effect and environmental hazard forever,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, election reforms coalition Bersih's co-chairman Ambiga Sreevenasan urged protesters to reject candidates who support Lynas in the next election.
“Today, Bersih stands together with Himpunan Hijau, Today yellow stands together with green," she said, referring to the coalition's yellow symbol.
"Will you vote in the next election? We want 100 per cent turnout. And when you vote, you can reject candidates who support Lynas. You can reject candidates without integrity,” she was quoted as saying.