Source: Malaysiakini – S Pathmawathy
The first shot in the fight against the construction of nuclear power plants in the country was fired in Klang today as scores of protesters gathered at the jetty of Pulau Ketam.
Klang parliamentarian Charles Santiago, who led the protest, said “Klang has been identified as one of the areas for the nuclear plants as it is an ideal location because it is surrounded by water.”
He said that the constituency which is set by the sea with bustling ports nearby, would be severely impacted, if the federal government pushes its nuclear plans through.
“We gathered at the jetty of Pulau Ketam because off the mainland, there are smaller and several inhibit islands that must be protected.”
About 50 demonstrators, made up of 12 civil society groups and members of the public, held banners and placards warning of the effects of nuclear energy in case of mishap.
“This is a historical day in Klang because this is the start of many more protests to come nationwide,” said Charles.
The government announced December last year that two nuclear plants would be built by 2022, to generate 1,000 megawatts of power each.
The move was initiated to divert the country away from its dependence on the depleting fossil fuels.
However, fears over the safety of nuclear plants have risen with Japan, a major operator of such plants for electricity, facing the threat of a meltdown at its stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant following the recent 9.0 magnitude earthquake in the Miyagi prefecture.
The protest turned to be a humble one as police cordoned off both access roads into Pulau Ketam and placed the area where the protesters were assembled under heavy guard.
“They (the police) did not allow us any time to protest and warned the crowd to disperse immediately,” he added.
However, the protesters marched to a nearby field and the 12 non-governmental groups signed the ‘Klang Declaration‘.
Among other resolutions, urged the government to quit its plan to set up such power plants and appealed to Selangor to not approve the plans in the event the state is approached.
Charles said that the authorities should explore the use of solar energy instead as it is a clean, renewable energy source.