Wong Tack to contest in Bentong

KUALA LUMPUR,12 March: Himpunan Hijau activist Wong Tack today announced his intention to contest as a candidate under the DAP banner in the upcoming General Election in the Pahang Parliamentary seat of Bentong.

Wong made the announcement at a packed press conference in the DAP HQ this afternoon, together with DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng and a host of other party leaders. The group then left for Bentong, where a large scale ceramah will be held tonight to introduce Wong’s candidacy.

The glittering reception for the green activist reflects his popularity at all levels, as his courage and activism has captured many hearts and won praise.

In November last year, Wong led a group from Himpunan Hijau in a gruelling 300km trek from Kuantan, Pahang to Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur to highlight the group’s demands for the government to close down the Lynas rare earth plant in Gebeng.

Lim said Wong’s candidacy would have a positive effect on Pakatan Rakyat to win the seat currently held by MCA Deputy President and Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai.

“It is difficult to face a giant in his own stronghold. So we cannot field in just any candidate, but a whole organisation: Himpunan Hijau,” Lim said.

“Come home to Bentong”

Wong Tack, a local Bentong-born, has lived in Karak since he was five, and says that Bentong will be the focus of Himpunan Hijau’s quest to seek the closure of the Lynas plant.

“Bentong is my hometown, it is a beautiful place full of natural resources and wonderful food. We want to turn it into a model town and to be the greenest town in Malaysia,” said the first time candidate.

The 53-year old is well-received for his environmental stand and already, thirty-five activists and academics have signed a pledge supporting his nomination.

When asked about the other issues he will be campaigning on, Wong talked about green economy, sustainable development, and restoring the ‘shine’ to the charming rural town known for its food and tranquility.

“We want young couples to choose Bentong as a place to raise children and seniors to choose it as a retirement destination. There are many opportunities here, come home to Bentong,”

Himpunan Hijau backs Pakatan Rakyat

Following successful talks with Pakatan Rakyat to deepen their current close cooperation, green coalition Himpunan Hijau has thrown its support behind the coalition.

Wong said the past few years of struggle by the NGO has proved to be fruitless, while their protests, memorandums and legal avenues have fallen on deaf ears. Given the circumstances, Wong said that Himpunan Hijau has no choice but to utilize the political platform to remove the current regime in order to make way for Pakatan Rakyat to fulfill their promise to the people when they come into power.

“This is a final life and death struggle between the rakyat and the tyranny political power. Himpunan Hijau may not have any political experience and resources, but we believe that we have the hearts of the people.”

“Let us start with Bentong and expand our momentum throughout the nation.”

Himpunan Hijau’s prime objectives are to bring down Lynas and to be a part of the policymaking process in the new government with regards to environmental protection, green justice and sustainable development. -The Rocket


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