March 30, 2011
To Lynas Corp: Pack Up and Leave Gebang, Pahang for Australia
by Joseph Sipalan@http://www.malaysiakini.com
Vincent Jiam, leader of a group of Pahang residents protesting the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant, said that plant would bring more harm than good.”Please pack up and leave and go home. Don’t leave anything behind… don’t even leave your slippers behind,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.
Jiam (left) and some 10 representatives of the group were in Parliament to hand a protest petition to Prime Minsiter Najib Abdul Razak.“I’m just a kindergarten teacher. We want the top man to decide,” said Jiam.
The group, however, were not allowed to see the premier, claiming that his aides turned them away without even taking a copy of their memorandum. “(One of Najib’s officers) told me, ‘(you) could go around the country all you want, but for two months you still cannot get an appointment with him’. Why would I want to go around the country? I just want to go to the top man,” he said at a press conference at the Parliament lobby.
PM must be our ‘Father’
“Everyone knows the top man can make decisions and we know he can make a right decision for us.I was hoping he would become like a father to us for just one moment, and take the memorandum,” Jiam said, clearly incensed by the alleged indifference of the Prime Minister’s Office staff.
Jiam, who appeared ill-at-ease sitting under the media spotlight, repeatedly stressed that neither he nor the committee members are politically inclined – and made it clear they have not much love for politicians, be it from the government or the opposition.
“(Politicians) always treat people nice(ly)… they are trying to get people’s attention and say they are concerned, to tell (us) the problems and then tell us ‘don’t be afraid’. Politicians are clever talkers.
“We don’t want that. The country will (become) the darkest country of our time, for all the wrong things that we have done. We cannot (wait) for two months to decide… I am asking the PM for (all) our sakes. Now only the PM can make the right decision,” he said.
‘Bukit Merah fish didn’t die, they are huge’
Jiam, who lives in Kuantan some 25km from the plant’s site at the Gebeng Industrial Zone, pointed out that a resident of Bukit Merah – the site of an earlier rare earth plant that was closed down in 1992 – had told him of the aftermath of the radiation leakage in the area.
“I asked him if the fish died, and he told me ‘no, they are huge’. Imagine if Kuantan becomes an exporter of super huge fish, we will be sending out radiation to our brothers and sisters in Sabah and Sarawak. We don’t want that, but that is what will happen,” he said.
Jiam said the committee, which was formed on March 22, will not be deterred by their failure to meet with Najib, and will make sure their memorandum will reach each of the 222 MPs in Parliament.
He added that they have so far managed to get 20,000 signatures for a petition against the project, and they “will continue to fight” until the matter is settled in their favour.
“When this is all done, I will go back to being a kindergarten teacher. We cannot let this go on… our children will not forgive us,” he said.