Wong Tack apologises for 'burn Lynas' remarks

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After having ignited a controversy over the past few days, Himpunan Hijau leader Wong Tack yesterday conceded that he was wrong in threatening to burn down the Lynas rare earths refinery plant.

Speaking at a ceramah in Kuantan last night, Wong said his statement had a bad influence on the younger generation, hence he would "bow 90 degrees twice" and offered unreserved apology to all Malaysians.

Chinese newspaper Sin Chew Daily reported today that Wong ( left ), who was speaking at a DAP ceramah, told the crowd: "I am wrong."

He claimed his statement was a direct representation of his own feelings, direct and without veil, but it brought about public criticism.

Wong explained that on way back from Kuala Lumpur earlier yesterday, he encountered a group of young people at the bus station.

He said they cheered him and said to him, "When you burn down the plant, we will be there."

And during his speech at a ceramah in Kemaman, he said, one person in the even yelled out, 'Burning is not enough, must bomb it.'

Wong added at last night's ceramah: "I think I have made an improper statement... This kind of emotional talk will only bring a negative impact, especially to our younger generation."

He asserted that Himpunan Hijau would always adhere to the Earth Charter and a non-violent approach to it struggle.

'Emotional words a bad influence'

"So, I deeply feel that these emotional words will a bring bad influence upon our young people. I feel that I am wrong... if there is wrong, we must rectify it. I feel now that what I said is over and wrong."

After finishing his speech and before leaving the stage, Wong sincerely bowed twice to his 200-odd audience as sign of his apology.

The crowd applauded and cheered in appreciation of Wong's gesture.

On Monday, Wong said he would burn down the Lynas plant, located in Gebeng, Kuantan, should it still continue to operate after the coming general election.

Regardless of whether BN continues to rule or Pakatan Rakyat forms the new federal government, Wong had said, he would personally set fire to the plant if it was not shut down within 30 days of the election.

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