Malaysia

Before they could have a face-to-face meeting with the Australian mining company company Lynas Corporation, a dozen resident activists from Kuantan, Malaysia, took a journey all the way to Sydney to launch a protest outside Lynas headquarters on July 5.
 
Lynas is building a radioactive waste-producing rare earth refinery in their coastal city of 500,000 people. Some 700,000 people live within a 30km radius of the Lynas refinery site.
 

Joint international solidarity statement

On June 19, a campaign titled Bersih 2.0 was called by the Malaysian people for free and fair elections as the 13th General Election is around the corner.

Bersih 2.0 also called for a gathering on July 9. On June 24, the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia) launched a Udahlah BN, Bersaralah (Enough BN, Retire Now) campaign.

The Socialist Party of Malaysia campaign aimed to expose the corruption of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government and also to drum up support for the Bersih 2.0 rally.

More than 500 Malaysians and their supporters gathered in Melbourne's Federation Square on July 9 to call for free and fair elections in Malaysia. They were decked out in yellow shirts and held banners and placards.

The rally, called in solidarity with the Bersih 2.0 democracy movement in Malaysia, chanted slogans in Malay and English, ranging from "Bersih bersih" (Clean, clean) to "change is possible".

Thirty activists from the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) have been charged and kept in jail over planned pro-democracy protests in Malaysia on July 9.

Altogether, the TheStar.com.my said on June 30 police arrested 101 people nation-wide in a preemptive move against the July 9 "Bersig 2.0" demonstrations, which have been declared illegal. The article said 45 were still detained.

Public opposition to a plan by an Australian mining company, Lynas, to build a rare earth refinery in Pahang, Malaysia, was on show at a protest outside Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur on May 20.

Lynas plans to ship ore from its Mount Weld mine in Western Australia, through the port of Fremantle, to Malaysia. There it will be refined to extract rare earths, which are widely used in the manufacture of computers and electronics.

Sungai Siput, Malaysia - "It is definitely not on for Australia to outsource their refugee problem to Malaysia - and for Malaysia to agree to it", the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) member of parliament Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj told Green Left Weekly at the PSM's 13th Congress held in this town, which is the population centre of his electorate.

"Australia is sending refugees to a country that hasn't ratified the refugee convention.

In a joint statement with Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on May 7, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced an agreement had been reached to swap 800 future “irregular maritime arrivals” from Australia with 4000 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recognised refugees from Malaysia over the next four years.

Although the details of the plan are yet to be fully revealed, a number of myths about this so-called solution have already arisen in the media. Here are the facts.

The following statement was released by Lim Chee Wee, president of the Malaysian Bar Council, on May 9 in response to the "refugee swap" announced by the Australian and Malaysian governments.

* * *

The Malaysian Bar is opposed to the recently-announced arrangement agreed to between the Governments of Malaysia and Australia.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard used a series of meetings with Asian leaders at the UN Regional Summit on October 30 to lobby for her government’s proposal to build a “regional” detention centre for refugees in East Timor.

She met with Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh of Laos and President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines, the October 30 Australian reported. She also met with United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, who “noted” her proposal — the only outcome reported.

Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) secretary-general S. Arutchelvan called the proposed labour law review by the human resources Ministry was “draconian”, klick4Malaysia.com said on October 1.

Arutchelvan said it would destroy the few rights workers have left.

“This is the worse amendment in 40 years”, Arutchelvan told a press conference on October 1. He was joined by representatives from the Malaysian Trades Union Congress, the Bar Council, Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas and Suara Rakyat Malaysia, klick4malaysia.com said.

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