By LIZ GOOCH June 19, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR — When a planned 24-hour environmental protest gets under way this Saturday on the outskirts of the coastal Malaysian town of Kuantan, the roll call will include speakers from across the country.
While the catalyst for the rally is the construction of a rare earth refinery nearby — the target of a sustained campaign by local residents and environmental groups — the crowd is also expected to hear from people from other parts of Malaysia who are concerned about projects near their homes that they fear could be damaging the environment.
Among them will be residents of a fishing village near an oil and gas plant in the southern state of Johor; people from Perak State who are worried about the potential effects of an iron ore refinery on a mangrove forest; and villagers from Pahang State who are concerned about possible pollution from a gold mine, according to Wong Tack, chairman of the group behind the protest, Himpunan Hijau, which means “Green Assembly” in Malay.
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