Lynas’ rare earth refinery is not wanted; neither are Sarawak’s mega dams – that’s the message that 20000 Malaysians sent out when they marched to Dataran Merdeka yesterday.

With East Malaysians protesting against mega dams in Sarawak joining in, the march was the first show of strength from a blossoming nationwide environmental movement.

No arrests were reported yesterday and one observer suggests that this indicates the general election is very close, as the parties in power would be reluctant to antagonise Malaysians with heavy-handed action with polls so close.

A couple of hundred activists spent the night near Dataran and this morning at a people’s meeting, they passed several resolutions calling on the government to:

  • stop Lynas;
  • close or re-evaluate all environmentally risky projects in the country such as the Bukit Komas gold mine in Pahang, the high-tension electrical tower in Rawang and the refinery and integrated petrochemical refinery project (Rapid) in Pengerang, Johor;
  • end the land grab of Orang Asli villages.