The sleepy central Malaysian town of Raub was the focus of a 15,000-strong Himpunan Hijau (Green Gathering) national convergence of environmental activists on September 2. The immediate focus of the convergence was to support local community opposition to the use of cyanide in gold mining operations near the town by the Raub Australian Gold Mine. But activists also came from another major environmental campaign, against a toxic rare earths refinery in that has been built by Lynas, an Australian corporation, near the city of Kuantan.
Thousands of yellow-shirted supporters of Malaysia's Bersih movement for free and fair elections defied a police ban to gather around the theme "Janji Demokrasi" (Promised Democracy) on the eve of the 55th anniversary of the country's independence from British colonial rule. Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) activist Choo Chon Kai, who took these photos, told Green Left Weekly:
Jade Lee, a residents' rights and environmental activist, explains why there is powerful community opposition to the commencement of operation of a rare earth refinery in Malaysia by Lynas, an Australian company. See also: Stop Lynas campaigners challenge company's licence to operate
Resident group activists in Malaysia who have been campaigning to stop an Australian corporation, Lynas, from building a highly toxic rare earth refinery near Kuantan, Pahang, celebrated a little victory after Justice Mariana Yahya of the Kuantan High Court agreed on August 28 to hear their application for two judicial reviews.
Over the weekend of July 14-15, communities in 30 locations around Malaysia participated in a National Day of Stop Lynas action against a rare earth refinery project being built in Malaysia by the Australian company Lynas. Simultaneous solidarity actions took place in Australia - in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Roxby Downs (at the "Lizard's Revenge" anti-nuclear music festival in the outback arid zone of South Australia).
Labor and Coalition MPs have shed thousands of crocodile tears claiming that Australia needed to “stop the boats” to “save lives” by making offshore processing of asylum seekers government policy. Labor backed a private members bill put by independent MP Rob Oakeshott that would allow Australia to expel refugees to any country that was part of the Bali Process, including Malaysia.
Three leaders of the People's Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat — PKR), a major parliamentary opposition party in Malaysia, were arrested on May 22 under provisions of a controversial new Peaceful Assembly Act. The three were PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali and Badrul Hisham Shaharin. The charges relate to the April 28 Bersih 3.0 mass democracy protest in the capital Kuala Lumpur, involving 100,000-200,000 peaceful protesters. The march was violently attacked by riot police after a few protesters pushed through police barricades.
Footage from the 'Malaysian Spring': the inspiring 250,000-strong Bersih ('clean') rallies for free and fair elections in Malaysia PLUS from Australian support rallies in Melbourne (1200 people), Sydney (500) and Perth (400). Also includes footage of the brutal police repression which saw 500 people arrested along with widespread use of water cannon and tear gas. Justice for the Malaysian people - take the power back!