Sunday 30 September 2012

Ancestors ‘join’ thousands in Pengerang rally

Ancestors photographs were placed at the rally venue in a symbolic move to oppose the proposed grave relocation.

KOTA TINGGI: More than 3,000 people gathered at Pengerang, Johor today for the Himpunan Hijau Lestari Pengerang rally against a massive petro-chemical plant, with some local residents bringing ancestral photographs to the scene.

Clad in green, the protesters started to gather at Dataran Sungai Rengit since early morning, to the  backdrop of a huge lobster statue at the square entrance.

By the time the rally began at 10am, the squre was packed with protesters holding placards that read, among others, “Don’t wait until our villages are pawned”, “Taiwan treats it as rubbish, we take it as treasure”, “Defend sustainable Pengerang”.

 A row of empty chairs were also placed in front of the stage where 10 local residents later placed their ancestors photographs on the chairs in a symbolic move to oppose the proposed grave relocation.

“The authorities always say there are only a few people protesting against this project, but today not only the entire village has come out, we even invited our ancestors to come,” said Gabungan NGO Pengerang vice chairman Sim Seng San.

Johor PKR chairman and party vice president Chua Jui Meng, who was present at the rally, said that Pakatan would close down the Petronas plant if it comes to power in the next general election.

The rally ended peacefully at noon, with emcee Hishammuddin Rais leading the crowd to recite Earth Charter, a pledge to conserve the environment.

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