Thousands protest Malaysia rare earths plant - 26Feb2012
KUANTAN, Malaysia: Thousands rallied Sunday in Malaysia against an Australian miner's rare earths plant in the biggest protest yet over fears it will produce radioactive waste harmful to them and the environment. Australia's Lynas has almost completed building the plant near the seaside town of Kuantan in eastern Pahang state to process rare earth ores imported from Australia. China currently supplies about 95 per cent of world demand for rare earths, which are used in high-tech equipment from iPods to missiles and have seen prices soar in recent years. Lynas hopes to begin operations within months, producing an initial 11000 tonnes of rare earths a year and effectively breaking the Chinese stranglehold on the materials. But more than 5000 people, many wearing green and holding banners reading "Stop pollution, stop corruption, stop Lynas," gathered in Kuantan to call for the plant to shut down, chanting "We want Lynas to close down". Lee Tan, an activist who helped organise the rally, said: "The plant is dangerous because it produces huge amounts of waste that is radioactive," adding residents were worried the waste could leak into the ground and water. Lynas has insisted the plant is safe, and any radioactive waste it produces will only be low-level and not harmful to human health. But opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who attended the rally, told protesters his coalition, which currently holds more than a third of parliament, would cancel the plant if it came to power in <b>...</b>
If you want to add your voice and contribute to this existing news event, use the event code
(Event Code: @12931063), that you will find on each news event page, as the first word of the
SMS or MMS message followed by a space then add your contribution (text, image or video). For example:
@12931063 This is an amazing video of Greg Norman hitting a hole-in-one in Sydney, Australia.
The first word of the message should be @12931063 (event code), to make sure the system attaches
your voice to the right news event.