They were held at the Manjung police station and were released after the rally was over.
PETALING JAYA: PETALING JAYA: Four Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members were detained today while they were on their way to a rally protesing against an iron ore plant being built by Brazilian mining giant Vale ,in Teluk Rubiah, Manjung.
S Nagenteran, Patrick Vincent, Alexis Paul Raj and Choo Chon Kai were detained at a road block 3 km away from the protest venue.
Choo said that the police held them for an hour releasing them only after the rally was over without taking more than their hand phone numbers and personal details down.
“They stopped us at 10.30 am and checked our cars and found some PSM brochures and DVDs from Asalkan Bukan Umno (ABU) in our car boot.
“The police said that these material had to be checked properly hence they took us to the police station in Manjung,” he said .
However the materials were not inspected at the police station because it was raining.
“We told the police that we could only open the boot if we had umbrellas. Then, they just didn’t check the materials, held us for the hour and released us.
“I think they were just trying to prevent us from participating in the rally,” he said .
One of the rally organiser, Howard Lee told FMT that around 300 people participated in the rally.
“It was raining heavily but people still turned up .The objective of the rally has been achieved satisfactorily. This is the first step to raising awareness on the matter,” he said
Vale is the world’s largest iron ore mining and processing company. It has a locally registered company called Vale Malaysia Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, which started constructing the Teluk Rubiah plant last July and is expected to be operational by June 2014.
In interviews that FMT conducted last August, many local residents, mostly fishermen, expressed fears for their health and livelihood.
Consumer and environmental groups had consistently opposed the project. They said the Vale plant and its activities would destabilise the ecosystem of the area, formerly gazetted as a forest reserve.