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Wong Tack keeps Himpunan Hijau job, clarifies Lynas stand

 | March 19, 2013

The group wants him to remain as its chairman although he is standing for election on a DAP ticket. He also says Lynas must be shut down.

PETALING JAYA: Himpunan Hijau’s Wong Tack will keep his post as chairman of the environmentalist organisation even though he is standing for election on a DAP ticket.

Wong made the clarification in a press statement today, saying: “The understanding that we in Himpunan Hijau have with Pakatan is that I am an independent green candidate contesting under the DAP ticket and with Pakatan’s full support.

“Contesting on DAP’s ticket was a decision by the Pakatan leadership. It could have been on a PKR or PAS ticket if the PR leadership had so decided.”

Questions over his positions in Himpunan Hijau and in DAP were raised by Suaram director Kua Kia Soong and Himpunan Hijau steering committee member Clement Chin soon after Wong announced last week that he would seek election for the Bentong parliament seat.

Wong told FMT then that he was willing to hand over his position in Himpunan Hijau to anyone who was willing to fight for the green cause.

He said today that Himpunan Hijau’s steering committee had decided that he should continue leading the group.

“The committee felt that it would be unnecessary for me to relinquish my position,” he said.

“This decision is supported by eight out of the nine steering committee members. It is my hope that members of the public would respect their decision.”

Wong also admitted that he was a member of DAP but a “dormant” one as he had never been active in the party and never pursued any environmental causes under the banner of DAP.

Bentong is the turf of Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai, who is also deputy president in MCA. He has served as MP for the constituency for three terms. In 2008, the area had 59,643 voters—46% Chinese, 43% Malays and 9% Indians.

Lynas must be shut down

Wong also spoke about the future of the Lynas rare earth plant in Gebeng, the current focus of Himpunan Hijau’s activities.

He said the plant would be closed down should Pakatan win the 13th general election.

“Should Pakatan form the next government of Malaysia, the temporary operating license for Lynas must be revoked and a stop-work order must be issued immediately.

“Much confusion arose after my last press conference on March 12,” he said following his “off-the-cuff” statement which gave the impression that he was making a U-turn and would welcome Lynas if Pakatan formed the government.

“I regret the indirect way I spoke and wish to bring clarity to my stand on Lynas. Should Pakatan form the next government of Malaysia, the Temporary Operating License (TOL) for Lynas to operate must be revoked and stop work order must be issued immediately.

“If Lynas intends to challenge the termination of their operations, they must go through the most stringent and transparent detailed environment impact assessment (DEIA) and public consultation process.

“In my professional view, given my experience as an environmental consultant, Lynas will not be able to comply with the many requirements of the DEIA.

“To put it simply, once the plant is shut down, there is no chance for it to reopen,” he said.


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