Friday, July 11, 2014

Himpunan Hijau 15 Charged in Court

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The Sessions Court in Kuantan on July 08, 2014 imposed a gag order on 15 anti-Lynas activists

I don’t understand why the government persists in defending a business deal that is not in the best interests of the community. Even worse, the government is shamelessly prosecuting its own citizens in order to protect the foreign "corporate colonizer".
I am of course referring to the case of Himpunan Hijau, an environmental activist group, which have been fighting against the Lynas rare earth material plant in Gebeng, Pahang for more than two years now.
Fifteen people had been arrested in a June 22, 2014 demonstration near the Lynas plant and on Tuesday, they were subsequently charged with illegal assembly and rioting at the Kuantan court.
Furthermore, sessions judge Zainal Abidin Kamarudin imposed a gag order on them not to discuss the case on social media as an added condition for their release on bail, besides having to report to the police station once every month.
The anti-Lynas activists had alleged that the police had “brutally kicked and beaten up” some of the protestors. This thuggish behavior, if true, must be roundly condemned and punishment imposed on the bully boys. Thus far, no action has been taken against the police.
And Himpunan Hijau lamented the fact that until today no punitive action has been taken against Lynas Corporation even though they have committed violations – some of these include non-compliance with recommendations made by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), breaching terms and conditions of their Temporary Operating License (TOL), and also not having a detailed Environment Assessment Impact (DEIA) in place.
Lynas must rely on the authorities to use harassment and even violence to keep its Gebeng plant operational.
So whatever happened to our fundamental right to assemble peacefully in public? The government have conveniently chosen to forget about it. This is all just hooey!
On Tuesday also, I was at the IJM Cobra Club to attend the Taman Indrahana Toastmasters meeting. I was the Toastmaster-of-the-Evening and I did a rousing job, if I may say so myself! I was actually both serious and funny at the same time. And all three speeches were great and so too the evaluations. A great meeting. An 8 over 10 score.

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