Heavy police presence mars anti-nuke demo

Posted on April 3, 2011. Filed under: Energy |

-Free Malaysia Today- The police pressure forced the demonstrators to move away from the jetty point to the Klang Municipal Stadium where they held a brief gathering before dispersing.

KLANG: A heavy police presence today disrupted a peaceful demonstration against the possible construction of nuclear power plant at Pulau Ketam in Selangor.

Led by DAP’s Klang MP Charles Santiago, about 200 people started gathering at the Pulau Ketam jetty this morning. They were from numerous NGOs, such as the Klang Consumer Association, and several Pakatan Rakyat local councillors. Many had brought their children.

“However there were about 500 policemen to stop us in the jetty area,” said Santiago.

He added that the heavy police presence caused panic among the people who had only come to stage their objections peacefully against any plans by the government to place its nuclear plant in Selangor.

“The police were totally blatant, unprofessional and displayed thuggish behaviour,” he said.

The police had also erected roadblocks on the routes to the jetty.

Santiago said that the police pressure on them caused them to move away from the jetty point to the Klang Municipal Stadium where they held a brief gathering to outline their objections before dispersing.

No one was arrested during the gathering either at the jetty point or at the stadium.

The Klang police, when contacted, said they were there to stop an illegal assembly. Santiago said he had not applied for a police permit as “it is our right to gather peacefully”.

Five demands

Santiago said that the protesters had five demands to make to the government, the main one calling for the federal government to cancel any kind of plans to build nuclear power plants in the country.

The anti-nuclear plant group also stressed that they were not buying the government’s propaganda that nuclear energy was safe.

“We want the government to concentrate on renewable energy,” said Santiago of their third demand.

Fourthly, they emphasized on the dangers of having nuclear power plants and finally they urged the Pakatan-controlled Selangor to disallow the construction of any nuclear power plants in the state.

Also present at the demonstration were Selangor state exco Dr Xavier Jayakumar, Klang DAP parliamentary liaison committee chief Ivan Ho and local PAS leader Mohd Hanif Prasad Abdullah.

While the government has said that it was proceeding with its plans to build nuclear plants, it has nevertheless not publicly identified the sites for these plants.

The protest organisers believed that the nuclear plants will be build next to water source, and that Pulau Ketam was an ideal location.

Santiago cited Fukushima island in Japan as an example.

“It is away from the people on the mainland,” he said, adding that any radiation leak, when it happens, would still be dangerous to the people as was being seen in Japan now.

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