(The Star) - Anti-Lynas protesters on a 100-hour hunger strike at Dataran Merdeka have allegedly been caught on camera sneaking out to eat.
Pictures showing people clad in the trademark fluorescent green anti-Lynas T-shirts eating in hotels, restaurants and on the streets were circulated on the Internet hours before the end of the hunger strike at midnight last night.
Portals Mynewshub and stopthelies.my were among those that had uploaded the photographs, which attracted sarcastic comments from readers.
The protesters were allegedly caught red-handed after a Mynewshub photographer suspected something was amiss when participants appeared to take turns to leave quietly.
However, the organisers claimed that those caught eating were not protesters.
Malaysian Youths Against Public Hazard spokesman Tan Woen Tian claimed that those caught eating were members of the organising committee.
“We were not caught red-handed as claimed by our detractors. Even I went out to eat.
“The organising team members are allowed to eat as we need the energy to take care of the 19 protesters who are on hunger strike,” said Tan.
The 100-hour hunger strike, which was to last from 8pm on Thursday until the eve of New Year, was aimed at building the momentum for the Himpunan Hijau's Green Drive from Kuala Lumpur to Gebeng in protest of Lynas.
It is part of a 100-day campaign initiated by environmental pressure groups against Lynas.
A series of protests were held following the failure of the Save Malaysia Stop Lynas group to get the Court of Appeal to reverse the Kuantan High Court's decision on Nov 8 to allow a temporary operating licence for Lynas.
The protesters, added Tan, had been in Dataran Merdeka for five nights, sleeping in sleeping bags and drinking only water.
“We initially have 22 people on hunger strike when we first started on Thursday.
“But the number was reduced to 19 as three had to pull out upon the advice of the medical team,” he said.
Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) chief Badrul Hisham Shaharin, popularly known as Chegubard, said the objective of the campaign was to raise awareness against Lynas.
“It is not about whether people were willing to go hungry for 100 hours.
“It is about using every means they can to raise awareness against issues that should be of concern to the public,” he said.