Anti-Lynas hunger strike
2:40PM May 12, 2013
A 72-year old woman has reportedly shaved her head bald and gone on a hunger strike in Kuantan to protest against the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp).
According to the Malay-language daily Sinar Harian, Tuw Ah Mei started her hunger strike on April 26 in a bid to highlight the purported health hazards of the plant.
“So far, I have not eaten anything in 16 days and only drank water to quench my thirst. I am not suffering any health problems, but I am saddened that the plant is continuing its operations,” she was quoted saying.
She reportedly said she would continue the hunger strike until the plant ceases operations and is prepared to die to achieve this.
Meanwhile, the daily also quoted the local MP, Fuziah Salleh (right), saying that a person of Tuw’s age should not be on a hunger strike.
Nonetheless, Fuziah said she would ensure that Tuw would not stand alone and hopes other Malaysians would also lend her their support. She added that she would help monitor her health from time to time.
Lamp, the largest rare earth refinery in the world, started operations in November.
Critics of the project are concerned about possible health hazards from the plant, particularly low-level radioactive waste. This has led to several mass protests under the Himpunan Hijau campaign.
Tuw, who had participated in the movement’s 300-kilometre protest march from Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur last year, had previously came under the media spotlight when she demanded Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob’s apology over his remarkthat the marchers only walked 200 metres, and was subsequentlyarrested.
Lynas and the Atomic Energy Licencing Board (AELB) officials has repeatedly given assurances that the plant is safe and measures have been taken to monitor it.