This event comes in the wake of the government’s action on rushing through the Free Assembly Bill in our Parliament a week ago. Should the Bill becomes law, then all future activities will have to go through so many obstacles that we wonder if it is possible at all to organize any event to allow people of Gebeng, Kuantan, Kemaman and Balok to continue to voice out their concerns regarding this world-largest Rare Earth processing plant. Once it is in our statute then the basic right of free assembly as guaranteed by our constitution will be severely curtailed and democracy in this country will meaningless! We shall wait to see if government has the will to uphold the basic principles of democracy in the days to come and we urge all citizens to voice out their concerns on this issue while they still can before it is too late!
It is this wanton act of encroachment on our basic rights by our elected government that makes this event 1211 more meaningful.
Under Article 5 of our Constitution we are guaranteed the right to live in a reasonably healthy and pollution free environment. Our government is the custodian of this duty to all citizens! By allowing LAMP to be built and operate in the midst of a highly densely populated and in an ecologically highly sensitive area, our government has openly demonstrated through its actions that it has negated its duty to protect its own citizens!
SMSL is keenly aware of the potential risks and hazards that our future generations will face once this plant is allowed to operate. It will leave behind hundreds of thousands of tons of solid radioactive waste in our backyard. To date Lynas has not proposed a viable solution on how to handle this mammoth volume of solid waste that contain Thorium and Uranium! Future generations living in this vicinity will be saddled with the burden of contending and putting up with the potential risks posed by this radioactive wastes!
Our air will be peppered with micro radioactive dust with alpha particulates from its stacks while the Balok river in which our children swim everyday will be inundated with waste water from the plant! All these threats will spell inevitable long term disasters for our future generations who will continue to live here. Any ingestion of this radioactive particulates through respiratory function or food could and will eventually lead to health challenges 20 years down the road. By then who will pay for all the costs and sufferings that befall the victims?
Its is most regrettable that in the present sitting of our state assembly our Menteri Besar chose to twist this issue by turning it into a political issue and at the same time continue to mislead the public. He has never informed the public and perhaps the August state assembly and members of our state legislature that the LAMP is built on a reclaimed swamp land where the water table is 0.9 metres below the surface. He had made wrong comparisons by equating LAMP with that of ARE of Bukit Merah.! He has never informed the public that the LAMP is 10 times the capacity of ARE! Neither has he shown any attempt to listen to what the people in Gebeng, Balok and Kuantan have to say regarding this plant. He even refused to meet the delegation representing the people here to meet him. Neither has he bother to have a dialogue with the people here. His arrogance has so far found no parallel in the history of Pahang and perhaps the whole of Malaysia!
For an elected head of government to behave in this manner, part of the blame has to be on us for NOT delivering a strong enough message to him. Let us deliver a strong message to him that people have had enough of his twisted logics and his indiscriminate accusation leveled at parties opposing this project. His racist view that the Chinese in Malaysia are opposed to the project to help China maintain a stranglehold on the rare earth supply to the world has totally ignored the plain truth that Lynas Corporation is in fact partially owned by a large number of mainland Chinese investors..
We were flattered by the presence of a large contingent of policemen in our last gathering at Taman Gelora in our 1311 event last month. We felt safe because of their presence.. We were puzzled to be told that the gathering was illegal.
Let us be clear about what proper procedure one should follow should he or she be confronted with similar doubts. Please be reminded that when the police ask for your IC, under the law you have to produce it and show it to them. HOWEVER, they have no right to take away your IC .They cannot tell you to go back simply because you happen to wear the SMSL T shirt. Neither can they tell you that children below the age of 15 are not allowed to participate in the 1211 event because the Free Assembly Bill has NOT become law! If you are in doubt rest assured that our legal advisers will be stationed at every check point to help you!
It is time that all residents of Gebeng, Balok, Kuantan, Kemaman and Gambang take personal responsibility foryour health, social, economic and environmental concerns. We need to voice out and to take a stand.
On Sunday 11th December, SMSL will provide you with a platform where you can safely bring your family members on a fun-filled morning outing and at the same time to show the government your stand on the toxic project in Gebeng. 1211 will be our final event for the 2011, miss this you may miss the last chance this year to tell the nation what you think of the project. We promise you that it will be more fun and joy than the 1311 event! We urge you to attend come rain or shine! We shall look forward to seeing you there!