Six bus loads of people from Kuantan and others braved the afternoon rain to show up at the Australian High Commission, as to make the point to Canberra, and the Gillard administration: "No way Lynas". The venue and timing is all part of the effort and factors included to get Australia's attention.
And it happened about 6 hours ago, when ABC posted their coverage of today's event. (see appendix below).
I am not surprised to see how the police responded to the protest, though they are to be complemented for having done a decent and proper job in crowd control. It's largely to my thinking that there are international observers and press people involved in this matter and I infer that if the police acted in the high-handed manner, they could be well embarrassed on international news. I have documented this in my morning posting on "Eyes on Police" previously.
Kuantan residents have made their point loud and clear to Putrajaya and Canberra. If we go back to Murphy's Law, that anything could happen, taking what happened in Fukushima had been the main reason and motiviating factor of many who are against the rare earth plant in Kuantan.
Now, it's another case of testing the 1Malaysia creed that Najib has been talking and bragging all around. I keep seeing those propaganda advertisements everywhere, in the bus or driving past the UMNO headquarters building (a distraction to motorists driving along Jalan Mahameru). At the end of each ad, there always show the "Rakyat Didahulukan, Pencapaian Diutamakan". In this point of the protest, this is where the slogan is being tested.
Is it going to be real or just merely part of the public relations exercise of the Najib administration?
This is not the very first case of testing the 1Malaysia creed. The minimum wage call that has been pushed by worker unions and I considered it failed against the creed for it was not done in a swift manner. What both have in common is that they face opposition, a.k.a stumbling blocks particularly from the economic / nuclear-lobbyists and I do think that they are starting to caving to their pressure.
On Thursday, Leonardo DiCaprio twitted something similar to this matter: