PETALING JAYA (March 11): Environmental group Himpunan Hijau president Wong Tack is not a member of any political party and does not intend to be, but he has declared his intention to contest in the next general election.
"After weeks of intense discussions with the committee, and with endorsements from prominent leaders of the civil society, I hereby declare that I will represent the true voices of the people, particularly on green issues, to stand in the coming general elections," said Wong.
Wong has openly offered himself as a ready candidate for Pahang’s Bentong parliamentary seat to the opposition although he has yet to be endorsed by any opposition party.
"I will contest in Bentong, which is the focus point of our Pahang Green Corridor campaign. It is the place where the Menteri Besar of Pahang, Adnan Yaakob has challenged the people.
"This sort of arrogance displayed by a leader of a state is totally unacceptable. Therefore, the people will take up this challenge to remind those in position that the power is in the hands of the people," he said in a statement today.
MCA bigwig and Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai is presently the Bentong MP.
Wong, 53, first became known as an activist to East Malaysians when he opposed to a Sabah coal fire power plant in Lahad Datu in 2010.
He rose to “activist stardom” in the peninsula due to his Greenpeace–style opposition to the Australian Lynas rare earth refinery plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, when he led the green movement to oppose the setting up of the plant.
In a recent interview with fz.com, Wong said there are not enough voices in the Parliament to champion the green issues in the country.
“It is the opinion of a group of NGOs and social activists who are close to Himpunan Hijau that at this moment, we need a clear voice inside the Parliament that truly represents the people. We know at this moment, not many people out there truly understand, acknowledge and are concerned for the environment,” said Wong.
Explaining his decision, Wong said: "The people have struggled for the past two years against Lynas and other hazardous projects. The rakyat have organised protest after protest, submitted memorandum after memorandum and took actions through legal means.
"However, to our great disappointment, all our voices have fallen on deaf ears of those in position.
Calling it a "life-and-death struggle" between the people and the political power, Wong added that although Himpunan Hijau may not have any political experience and resources, the movement believed it has "the hearts of the people".