In a place close to the heart of many Sabahans, five prominent Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) have united to form a coalition named ‘Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future’ or Green SURF, to oppose dirty energy such as coal-fired power plants.
KUALA LUMPUR:All options for renewable electricity generation, from biomass to wind, will be explored before a decision is made, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
In his latest posting on his 1Malaysia blog, Najib said both the rakyat and experts would be consulted, consistent with his policy of public engagement.
"Our energy future is an important discussion, and I would like that you continue to share questions and concerns with Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister (Datuk Seri) Peter Chin Fah Kui and I. With your help, I'm confident that we can build a cleaner, greener Malaysia."
Najib said the public poll on his earlier blog entry on renewable energy options showed that 59 per cent of respondents were in favour of solar energy, with nuclear in second place at 23 per cent.
Third and fourth spots went to biomass and wind respectively.
He, however, added that further consultation was necessary due to the discrepancy in the poll results and the comments left by readers.
"At the time of writing, nuclear energy accounted for more than two-thirds of submissions, with those in favour and those against in equal numbers. Solar energy was the second most popular comment category, with biomass and wind in third and fourth positions.
"All this suggests to me that feelings on which energy source is best are mixed overall and confirms that we have further to go before implementing a decision on nuclear energy.
"All options for electricity generation, from biomass to wind, will be explored. We will consult experts and we will consult the rakyat, as there must be public engagement."
A Malaysian Renewable Energy Bill, he added, was being drafted by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water for tabling before Parliament this year.
"If we get it right, at least 52,000 jobs can be created and approximately RM70 billion worth of businesses will be generated by the renewable energy sector by 2020, according to experts."
In response, reader 'feistgeist' posted:"If this is the case PM, I really really hope that you will consider using Sabah as a platform for green technology in Malaysia. Don't build the coal plant!," he said, referring to the proposal for Tenaga Nasional Berhad to build a coal-fired plant in Sabah.
"Please understand that our natural heritage means a great deal to the Sabahan people. Do not go back on your vows at the Copenhagen Environmental Summit or the Indonesian Coral Triangle Summit. We need a leader we can trust to push this nation forward. Please be that leader for us," he added.
Another reader, 'Alex Siah' was of the view that with proper planning, progress and building of the Bakun Dam in Sarawak would be the best option available.
"Hydroelectricity is clean and recyclable with best economic sense...solar energy is a good choice too, but very capital intensive, while nuclear power is not a wise proposal due to potential pollution and non-recyclable and radioactive materials that are harmful."
'Ilann' from Sabah also asked that the coal-fired power plant plan be dropped.
"Awesome! Great news Boss! Am very sincerely happy to hear that a Malaysian Renewable Energy Bill is being drafted for this year. This IS the way forward! Please though, I implore you, please drop the coal-fired power plant that TNB is pushing on Sabah. It will jeopardise your Copenhagen commitments to cut carbon emissions by 40 per cent making that great goal almost impossible to achieve," he said.
The reader added that since Sabah had the largest oil palm planted landmass in the country, Sabahans wanted to utilise biomass and geothermal energy in Tawau.
"Please also get TNB to FIX THE GRID in Sabah -- it's still not complete. The Southern Grid has never been built. This is needed to stablise the East-West Grid. Thank you."