Supporting Wong Tack as the Green Candidate in Bentong


Joint Statement

We, the undersigned individuals, support Himpunan Hijau’s proposal for its chairperson Wong Tack to stand as the green candidate under Pakatan Rakyat in Bentong, Pahang taking on Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai in the coming general elections.

Wong Tack’s candidacy signifies the frustrating scene of the green movement. Despite the unprecedented electoral setback in the March 8 political tsunami five years ago, the Government has demonstrated an arrogant and irresponsible attitude towards environmental protection. From the Lynas rare earth processing plant in Kuantan, cyanide gold mining in Raub, the proposed petrochemical plant in Pengerang, aluminum plant in Mukah, to the dams in Inland Sarawak and Cameron Highlands, environmentally harmful projects have been introduced or allowed operation in complete disregard of the well-being and health of the local residents and ecology.

Wong Tack’s candidacy is a milestone in green politics in Malaysia, which has so far been staying away from direct participation in electoral politics. Rallies and petitions in the past three years over the issues of Lynas, cyanide gold mining, Pengerang and other polluting projects have failed to bring any real policy changes. The angry roaring of communities and citizens has fallen on deaf ears of politicians and bureaucrats, who care more about the interests of foreign capital.

It is therefore time to have more green-minded lawmakers in our Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies to scrunitise our laws and policies to keep environmental disasters at bay. Wong Tack, whose team has effectively put Lynas in the minds of the Malaysian public, is certainly one of the most relevant and representative faces. In this regard, taking on Liow Tiong Lai will also be apt since the Health Minister has repeatedly neglected public interests and misinformed the public with regards to the Lynas plant, cyanide gold mining and the firing of tear gas and water cannons at Tung Shin Hospital in July 2011.

We call upon that the Malaysian public to throw unwavering support for the candidacies of Wong Tack and hopefully other green candidates. A strong support for the Green candidates may garner enough momentum to bring about a political sea change in this country and send a clear message to all polluting industries in the world: Malaysia is not the world’s rubbish dump. Whatever is not safe for other humans is also not safe for Malaysians. Only with the green voters standing up and being counted, can we hope that the green agenda will be taken seriously and upheld by the next Government, whichever coalition may be.