Malaysia

Australian environmental and international solidarity campaigner Natalie Lowrey was arrested and detained for six days in Kuantan, Malaysia for standing with Malaysian activists campaigning against Australian company Lynas Corp's toxic rare earth refinery near that city.

At a peaceful protest of more than 1000 people outside the Lynas plant on June 22, 16 protesters were arrested and a number were injured by police, one very severely. Lowrey was released with no charge on June 27, the other 15 protesters faced court on July 8 on a variety of charges. She has since returned to Australia.

We are currently in Malaysia standing in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of Malaysians who vehemently oppose Australian rare earth miner, Lynas Corporation and their highly toxic and radioactive rare earth refinery plant near this city of 600,000 people.

This year's May Day rally in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur was the biggest in the country since independence in 1957.

Green Left Weekly's Peter Boyle spoke to S. Arutchelvan (Arul), the secretary general of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) and a spokesperson for the May 1 Committee.

The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), together with other groups and individuals, is forming a body called Left Coalition to bring class politics to Malaysia.

PSM secretary general S. Arutchelvan said it is looking to form the coalition with Parti Rakyat Malaysia, Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia and other activists and individuals.

“We are trying to bring back class politics,” he told FZ.com. “We feel the younger generations are actually more receptive to more radical and progressive ideologies ...

Wong Tack, the chairperson of the Himpunan Hijau (Green Assembly) environmental group which has been campaigning against the Australian company Lynas' toxic rare earth refinery in Malaysia, was manhandled and pushed up against a wall by security personnel when his group peacefully protested at the "Australia Day" celebration held in Kuala Lumpur on January 22.

READ MORE: 'A million Malaysians say shut polluter Lynas'

The invitation-only event was hosted by the Australian High Commission and was attended by Lynas executives.

Six Malaysian activists from the Himpunan Hijau (Green Assembly) group have begun a three-day occupation of the entrance to the corporate headquarters of Lynas in Sydney. The Australian company has built an unwanted toxic rare earths refinery in Kuantan , Malaysia.

They have come armed with a petition with signatures from 1.2 million Malaysians who demand that the toxic plant be shut down by June 29, 2014 at the latest.

When I first stepped into kampong (“village”) Hakka a year ago, I was amazed that to find a new Chinese village complete with temple, community hall and school existed. I was further shocked to learn that all the people living there had been declared illegals just because a rich company had bought their land.

About 200 members of the Gabungan Bantah FTA (Anti-FTA Coalition) braved the morning heat to rally against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) deal on July 16, claiming the controversial deal would lead to the colonisation of Malaysia.

The crowd, led by Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) president Mohd Nasir Hashim, gathered outside parliament while chanting slogans such as “America, go back, leave Malaysia”, and brandishing homemade placards that read “People before patents” and “Patients before profits”.

The statement below was released by the Socialist Party of Malayaia (PSM) on July 10.

* * *

The PSM is deeply concerned about the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) free trade agreement. The 18th round is to commence in Kota Kinabalu in east Malaysia from July 15 until July 25.

Jani Alam, a 25-year-old, is walking slow and painfully. Having slightly swollen feet, this “exercise” is the only treatment available from 60-year-old traditional doctor, Guramia Saiyid.

Both Alam and Saiyad are stateless refugees from the Rohingya ethnic minority from Arakan state in western Burma. They now live in Malaysia.

Saiyad has lived in the country for 11 years, while Alam has arrived four months ago.

“In the past months, dozens of refugees arrived almost every day,” said 41-year-old Jamar Udin, a neighbor and also a Rohingya.

Pages

Subscribe to Malaysia